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Hypertension in the United States Fire Service

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL 60068, USA
Medical Advisor, Hanover Park Fire Department, Hanover Park, IL 60133, USA
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Health and Human Physiological Sciences, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, USA
Public Safety Occupational Health Center, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
HeartFit For Duty, LLC, Mesa, AZ 85206, USA
Public Safety Health Systems, Ascension St. Vincent, Indianapolis, IN 46260, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marta Ferreiro-González, Gerardo Fernández Barbero, Félix Zapata Arráez and Estrella Espada-Bellido
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5432;
Received: 22 April 2021 / Revised: 13 May 2021 / Accepted: 15 May 2021 / Published: 19 May 2021
Hypertension is a major risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and cardiac remodeling and is associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac events, the leading cause of duty-related death in the fire service. We assessed systemic blood pressures and prevalence of hypertension among US firefighters by decade of life. Medical records of career firefighters (5063 males and 274 females) from four geographically diverse occupational health clinics were assessed. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥130 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥80 mmHg, or taking antihypertensive medication. Results from the firefighter sample were compared to the US general population (2015–2016 and 2017–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys). Among the total sample, 69% of firefighters met the criteria for hypertension and 17% were taking antihypertensive medications. Percentages of hypertensive male and female firefighters were 45% and 11% among 20–29 years old, respectively, and increased to 78% and 79% among 50–59 years old, respectively. Compared to the general population, male firefighters had a higher prevalence of hypertension (p < 0.05) across all age groups (11–16% higher). In order to improve firefighter health and protect against sudden incapacitation in this public safety occupational group, increased efforts are necessary to screen for and manage high blood pressure. View Full-Text
Keywords: blood pressure; firefighting; firefighters; cardiovascular disease blood pressure; firefighting; firefighters; cardiovascular disease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khaja, S.U.; Mathias, K.C.; Bode, E.D.; Stewart, D.F.; Jack, K.; Moffatt, S.M.; Smith, D.L. Hypertension in the United States Fire Service. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5432.

AMA Style

Khaja SU, Mathias KC, Bode ED, Stewart DF, Jack K, Moffatt SM, Smith DL. Hypertension in the United States Fire Service. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(10):5432.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khaja, Saeed U., Kevin C. Mathias, Emilie D. Bode, Donald F. Stewart, Kepra Jack, Steven M. Moffatt, and Denise L. Smith. 2021. "Hypertension in the United States Fire Service" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 10: 5432.

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