Cardiometabolic profiles of adolescents and young adults exposed to the World Trade Center Disaster

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Background and objective

Few studies have examined the possible cardiometabolic consequences of World Trade Center-related exposures on children who lived and/or attended school near the disaster site. Our objective was to compare cardiometabolic profiles of participants in the World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR) with a matched comparison group.


We evaluated WTCHR enrollees who resided in New York City and were born between September 11, 1993 and September 10, 2001, and a matched comparison group. We assessed exposure to dust cloud, home dust, as well as traumatic exposure, and associations with blood pressure, arterial wall stiffness, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, and LDL.


A total of 402 participants completed the study, 222 in the comparison group and 180 in the WTCHR group. In multivariable regression analysis, after adjusting for relevant confounders we detected a weak association between participation in the WTCHR group and lower BMI (−1.12 kg/m2, 95% CI −2.11, −0.12; p = 0.03), which became non-significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons. With respect to traumatic and psychosocial exposures, the only association that persisted in our multivariable model, below our predefined level of significance, was between post-traumatic stress disorder and higher BMI (2.06 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.37, 3.74; p = 0.02).


Our findings do not support an association between self-reported exposures to the WTC disaster and adverse cardiometabolic profile. However, further longitudinal studies may better inform the full extent of WTC-related conditions associated with exposure to the disaster.

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