Objective: The course of lung function in community members exposed to World Trade Center (WTC) dust and fumes remains undefined. We studied longitudinal spirometry among patients in the WTC Environmental Health Center (WTCEHC) treatment program.
Methods: Observational study of 946 WTCEHC patients with repeated spirometry measures analyzed on the population as a whole and stratified by smoking status, initial spirometry pattern, and WTC-related exposure category.
Results: Improvement in forced vital capacity (54.4 mL/yr; 95% confidence interval, 45.0 to 63.8) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (36.8 mL/yr; 95% confidence interval, 29.3 to 44.3) was noted for the population as a whole. Heavy smokers did not improve. Spirometry changes differed depending on initial spirometry pattern and exposure category.
Conclusion: These data demonstrate spirometry improvement in select populations suggesting reversibility in airway injury and reinforcing the importance of continued treatment.