DOWNTOWN — More than 70,000 people exposed to the WTC attacks and their aftermath will undergo a third major study to assess the health effects of the terror strike, the city health department said.
The survey, to be conducted by The World Trade Center Health Registry this summer, includes nearly 13,000 people who live outside the New York/New Jersey area.
The agency has surveyed the same group twice before, yielding important information about health effects of the attacks such as Lower Manhattan residents with respiratory symptoms being more likely to have abnormal lung function and the increasing instances of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Findings from the registry’s two prior surveys helped establish the burden of post-traumatic stress disorder and respiratory illness among directly exposed people,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley in a statement.
“Only now has sufficient time passed to begin investigating potential late emerging and long-term health effects associated with WTC exposure.”
The third survey will provide researchers with updates about health effects commonly associated with WTC exposure like PTSD and asthma.
Participants will be asked about depression, anxiety and history of traumatic stress before and after the attacks in an effort to understand the long-term mental health effects of exposure.
They will also be asked about asthma control, sleep apnea, other respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders and other potential late-emerging physical conditions.
As the nation’s largest cohort of those exposed to the WTC attacks and their aftermath, the Registry includes rescue and recovery workers, Lower Manhattan residents, those who worked in the area, students and passersby and is the most comprehensive post-disaster public health registry in the United States.
Data collection will continue through early March 2012.
Registry members can obtain more information by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 311.