Coronary Artery Disease Risk Assessment Screening and Long-Term Follow-Up for Firefighters and Police Officers
Coronary artery disease is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries supply heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death among firefighters and is responsible for 39-45% of on-duty deaths. Most firefighters who died while on-duty from a cardiac event had pre-existing disease. This suggests that improved identification of people at risk could prevent some early deaths. The profession of law enforcement has been recognized as a similarly high stress profession for many years. However, it is yet to be determined that law enforcement has the strong association with coronary events that has been found with firefighters.
In 2005 the Fire Analysis and Research Division of the National Fire Protection Association released a report recommending screening firefighters for coronary artery disease risk factors. Computed tomography, or CT, is a non-invasive test that provides pictures of the inside of the body. Coronary artery calcium screening using computed tomography provides physicians with an estimate of the plaque within the coronary arteries.
A coronary artery disease screening program for firefighters and police officers has the potential to identify firefighters and police officers at risk for coronary artery disease. Further, the use of coronary artery calcium screening may help identify people who do not have symptoms but are at risk for a sudden cardiac event. Additionally, it will compare patterns, similarities and differences of the firefighting and police officer professions.
To participate in this study, you need to:
Be a female firefighter age 45 or older at the Boise Fire Department or Boise Police Department
Be a male firefighter age 35 or older at the Boise Fire Department or Boise Police Department
Be a male or female firefighter of any age at the Boise Fire Department or Boise Police Department who has been diagnosed with diabetes.