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Prostate Cancer Risk Up for World Trade Center Rescue Workers

Risk most elevated for those to arrive earliest at the site, with a shorter latency period than the general population

MONDAY, Sept. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The risk for prostate cancer appears to be significantly elevated among World Trade Center (WTC) rescue/recovery workers, with heightened incidence beginning in 2007, according to a study published online Sept. 10 in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

David G. Goldfarb, M.P.H., from Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, and colleagues estimated the length of time to prostate cancer among WTC rescue/recovery workers by determining specific time periods during which the risk was significantly elevated. The analysis included 54,394 male rescue/recovery workers followed through 2015.

The researchers observed 1,120 incident prostate cancer cases. There was no association noted between diagnosis during 2002 to 2006 and WTC exposure. However, beginning in 2007, WTC rescue/recovery workers experienced increased risk versus the population of New York state (hazard ratio, 1.24). There was a positive, monotonic, dose-response association in the early (2002 to 2006) and late (2007 to 2015) periods of diagnosis for those who arrived earliest at the disaster site on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, or any time on Sept. 12, 2001, versus those who arrived later.

“Just over five years after the WTC attacks, prostate cancer incidence was elevated among rescue/recovery workers, demonstrating a shorter period from occupational exposure to disease onset when compared with other non-WTC research,” the authors write. “Our findings support the need for continued research evaluating the burden of prostate cancer in WTC responders.”

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