Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 3 > Risk Factors for Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Firefighters
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318243298c
Original Articles

Risk Factors for Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Firefighters

Burgess, Jefferey L. MD, MS, MPH; Kurzius-Spencer, Margaret MS, MPH; Gerkin, Richard D. MD, MS; Fleming, James L. DO, MPH; Peate, Wayne F. MD, MPH; Allison, Matthew MD, MPH

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Abstract

Objective: Heart disease is the leading cause of firefighter line-of-duty deaths. The study objectives were to identify early atherosclerotic disease through ultrasound measurement of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and risk factors predicting increased CIMT and carotid plaque.

Methods: Following ultrasound evaluation of 597 Phoenix and Tucson firefighters, logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for mean CIMT greater than 75th percentile and for carotid plaque.

Results: Age, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) of 100 mg/dL or more, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significant independent predictors of increased CIMT. Age, hypertension, LDL-C, and plasma soluble P-selectin were significant predictors of carotid plaque.

Conclusions: This study supports an emphasis on traditional risk factors for atherosclerotic disease in firefighters, in particular maintaining LDL-C less than 100 mg/dL. Plasma soluble P-selectin may help identify firefighters at increased risk for carotid plaque.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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