Elevated Cardiovascular Impairment Among Firefighters

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After fire stimulation training, participants had increased thrombus formation, platelet-monocyte binding, and forearm blood flow.
After fire stimulation training, participants had increased thrombus formation, platelet-monocyte binding, and forearm blood flow.

HealthDay News — Exposure to fire is associated with activation of platelets, increased thrombus formation, and impaired vascular function, promoting myocardial ischemia and injury, according to a study published in the April 4 issue of Circulation.

Amanda L. Hunter, MB, ChB, from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an open-label crossover study involving 19 healthy firefighters who performed a standardized training exercise in a fire stimulation facility or light duties for 20 minutes.

The researchers found that core temperature increased and weight decreased after fire stimulation training (P <.001 for both). Exposure to fire simulation correlated with increased thrombus formation under low- and high-shear conditions compared with control (both P <.001), as well as increased platelet-monocyte binding (P =.03). A dose-dependent increase was seen in forearm blood flow with all vasodilators (P <.001); in response to acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside, the increase was attenuated by fire simulation (P =.01 and .004). This correlated with an increase in fibrinolytic capacity, asymptomatic myocardial ischemia, and concentrations of plasma cardiac troponin I (P =.010).

"Our findings provide pathogenic mechanisms to explain the association between fire suppression activity and acute myocardial infarction in firefighters," the authors write.

References

  1. Hunter AL, Shah ASV, Lanagrish JP, et al. Fire simulation and cardiovascular health in firefighters. Circulation. 2017;135:1284-1295. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.025711
  2. Kales SN, Smith DL. Firefighting and the heart. Circulation. 2017;135:1296-1299. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.027018
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