Information Bulletin Number 0803183

On The Job Firefighter Deaths Often Preventable

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Heart disease causes 45 percent of on-duty deaths among firefighters, but many of these deaths could be prevented, a new study indicates.

Among firemen who suffered a heart attack or other coronary heart disease (CHD) event on the job, those who had previously been diagnosed with heart disease were four times as likely to die, Dr. Stefanos N. Kales of the Cambridge Health Alliance at Harvard Medical School and colleagues found. Smoking and having high blood pressure also independently quadrupled mortality risk.

"Some doctors seem to return heart disease patients to firefighting as if it were like returning to an office job," Kales told Reuters Health. for the full story and related links.