9-11 Research: What is the Risk of WTC Responders Developing PTSD as a Result of 9/11 Exposures?


Hi, I’m a clinician and researcher at Mt.
Sinai, working with World Trade Center Rescue and Recovery Workers. And together with my
colleagues Rob Pietrzak and Steve Southwick, we’re trying to understand what factors might
increase the risk or lower the risk of developing PTSD in these responders. We are looking at
a large amount of data from, and I was provided by responders doing their monitoring health
visits at Mt. Sinai and other clinics. We also just completed a survey of over, online,
of over four-thousand responders. And also, we’re inviting a few hundred responders, construction
workers, police, volunteers to tell us about their personal experience at Ground Zero and
other sites. What we’re finding is that a significant percent of responders still, over
ten years after Nine-Eleven are suffering chronic severe PTSD symptoms, about eight
percent. And an additional twelve percent are experiencing worsening symptoms. Still,
the majority of responders have actually done quite well and have been able to bounce back,
and we find that those who felt better prepared to deal with the enormity of the disaster
and those who had certain coping strategies and the ability to stay close to others and
maintain a sense of purpose, did better. We’re also looking at biological factors such as,
for example, levels of stress hormones in the blood and of these responders, and trying
to put it all together to understand how this relates to better coping with stress after
a disaster. The ultimate hope and goal is to increase and improve prevention and intervention
efforts, treatment efforts with responders.

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