11 September : the survivors suffer sixteen years after

Health 11 September, 2017


Published the 11.09.2017 at 19h09


Keywords :

attentatmaladie cardiovasculairecancer

Sixteen years to the day, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York collapsed after being hit by two Aircraft. These suicide attacks sponsored by Al-Qaeda have made 2 977 dead.

Even today, thousands of survivors are suffering from the effects of this tragedy. Several recently published studies reveal that the survivors and rescuers are facing today are serious health problems.

One of them published in Injury Epidemiology shows that the employees of the towers and the rescue workers who inhaled the thick dust cloud, or who have been victims of head injuries and fractures are more at risk of cardiovascular pathologies and pulmonary.

The researchers of the department of health of the city of New York have studied more than 73,000 people exposed to these attacks. Victims still followed today and which suffer more from angina, heart attack, and asthma than the general population.

Thousands of school children impacted

And this toxic cloud did not spare schools that are located near the World Trade Center. The work presented in Environment International report them also the damage caused to the heart and blood vessels in children directly exposed. The doctors of the university NYU Langone follow almost 3 000 school children who experienced the September 11, 2001.

They are now young adults. And if the attack is far behind them, the drama seems to have marked for life. Scientists have indeed observed the presence of a significant amount of fat in the arteries of young people most exposed to the dust, and in particular to substances called perfluoroalkyles that are found in fire-fighting foams or textiles.
Their blood vessels also seem to have lost their elasticity. This is the first time that a study suggests long-term risks to cardiovascular health of these children.

More cancers of the tongue and throat

This dust toxic would also be responsible for thousands of cases of cancer. According to the latest figures of the u.s. health authorities, more than 5 400 cases could be attributed to the attacks. Cancers of the head and neck would be the main disease observed in the rescued but also the rescue teams.
According to researchers from Rutgers university, the cancer of the throat and tongue are particularly many of them compared to the general population. This risk could be related to a vulnerability with the human papillomavirus (HPV), they suggest.

The university have issued this hypothesis, because they discovered that 80 % of the tumors studied in the survivors of the attack are induced by an infection with HPV, compared with 10 % in the population under the age of 69 years. If they are right, it would then be possible to prevent these cancers through vaccination.