Mount Sinai Awarded $1.1 Million Grant to Investigate Kidney and Heart Disease in 9/11 WTC Responders

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New study led by Dr. Mary Ann McLaughlin to study the risks of kidney and heart disease among Ground Zero first-responders and volunteers exposed to the toxic dust-cloud.

Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have received a $1.1 million grant from the World Trade Center Health Program to study the risks of kidney and heart disease among Ground Zero first-responders and volunteers exposed to the toxic dust-cloud created by the disaster 13 years ago.

The World Trade Center Health Program, administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and part of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders.

“Our research will determine the frequency and degree of kidney dysfunction in these patients, and examine the relationship between kidney and cardiovascular diseases among first responders to the tragedy at Ground Zero and volunteers who were there,” says Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Cardiac Health Program at The Mount Sinai Hospital and the study’s principal investigator working with Christina Wyatt, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Nephrology at Mount Sinai.

Responders and volunteers were exposed to varying levels of air filled with cement dust, smoke, glass fibers, and heavy metals during the 9/11 tragedy at Ground Zero. Mount Sinai researchers believe that high levels of exposure to the dust cloud may cause inflammation that can result in the development of chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular damage.

“We will investigate if exposure to high levels of inhaled particulate matter from 9/11 may be associated with chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular damage,” says Dr. McLaughlin. “Our long-term goal is to identify and minimize the risks for these conditions among individuals exposed to the inhaled toxins.”

“We anticipate this new study to have a broad impact on our understanding of the health effects of inhaled particulate matter on kidney and cardiovascular health,” says Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who oversees the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center for Excellence at Mount Sinai.

The Clinical Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai is a treatment and monitoring program for emergency responders, recovery workers, residents, and area workers who were affected by the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. The program identifies health problems needing timely treatment, monitors the development of symptoms, and analyzes data on the effects of 9/11. Located at Mount Sinai and several other clinics in the tri-state area, the Clinical Centers of Excellence and Data Centers are the result of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides $4.3 billion in federal funding to serve the health needs of the brave men and women impacted by the WTC tragedy.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

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Lauren Woods
The Mount Sinai Hospital
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