- An analysis of the World Trade Center Health Registry has found that intense dust exposure among responders is associated with new-onset systemic autoimmune disease (SAID), as is PTSD among community members.
Why this matters
- Findings implicate components of dust cloud and PTSD in the etiology of SAID.
- Clinicians treating 9/11 survivors should be alerted to the potential associations.
- New-onset SAID (n=2786) was studied in a longitudinal prospective cohort of responders (rescue, recovery, and clean-up response) and community members (people who worked, resided, attended school, or were in transit in Lower Manhattan the morning of the attack) in comparison with people who denied a SAID (n=37,017).
- SAID was validated by classification criteria, rheumatologist diagnosis, or having been prescribed SAID medication.
- Funding: CDC; other government agencies.
- Among the 118 people with validated SAID, 62 were responders and 56 were community members.
- 12% of the 118 people had >1 SAID.
- Most common SAIDs:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (n=71).
- Sjögren's syndrome (n=22).
- Responders with intense dust exposure had nearly double the risk for SAID (adjusted risk ratio [ARR], 1.86; 95% CI, 1.02-3.40).
- Community members with PTSD had nearly triple the risk for SAID (ARR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.60-4.90).
- Observational design.
- Low response rate to Wave 3 questionnaire (63%).