Studies led by the Nolan Lab at NYU Langone focus on predictors of lung function loss in never-smoking firefighters from the World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed Fire Department of New York cohort. This group has pre-9/11 clinical/spirometric data and continues to have serial post-9/11 assessments. In preliminary data, we demonstrate that elevated serum levels of one such LDL byproduct soon after intense WTC dust exposure is a risk factor for developing abnormal forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) years later. This development of lung injury is what we call World Trade Center lung injury (WTC-LI).
Our group has demonstrated that mediators of metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and vascular injury in serum sampled within six months of 9/11 are predictive of eventual abnormal lung function. Lipids and their metabolites have been linked to pulmonary inflammation and subsequent airflow obstruction.
The development of ventilatory dysfunction following particulate exposure is a major health concern worldwide. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is high in industrialized nations and is rapidly increasing in developing nations with high ambient particulates. The interaction of these two disorders is a topic of considerable importance. Our work will define the additive inflammatory effects of lipid mediators on a background of particulate matter exposure.
Anna Nolan, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine
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