Firefighters' blood pressure and employment status on hazardous materials teams in massachusetts: A prospective study

Stefanos N. Kales, Elpidoforos S. Soteriades, Stavros G. Christoudias, Scott A. Tucker, Michael Nicolaou, David C. Christiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluated the association between hypertension and changes in employment status in 334 hazardous materials firefighters. Firefighters were categorized by blood pressure (BP) at baseline (1996 or 1997) and subsequent follow-up examinations (1997, 1998, and 1999). They were followed up for a maximum of 4 years for possible adverse outcomes (death, placement on "injured-on-duty " status, termination of duty, resignation, retirement, or incident cardiovascular disease). In several analytic models, we found that firefighters with stage II hypertension (BP ≥ 160/100 mm Hg) were consistently 2 to 3 times more likely to experience an adverse outcome compared with those with normal BP. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to adjust for age, body mass index, smoking, cholesterol, and antihypertensive medication. In these models, the hazard ratio for stage II hypertension was 3.2 (95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.50 to 7.04, P = 0.003) and for untreated stage II hypertension, it was 4.6 (95% CI, 2.08 to 10.11, P = 0.0002). Firefighters with a BP ≥ 160/100 mm Hg should receive further evaluation and demonstrate improved BP control before being determined fit for duty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-676
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume44
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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