Firefighters Face Added Risk of Fatal Heart Attack

There is something about fighting fires that puts firefighters at much greater risk of having a fatal heart attack.

Firefighters are twice as likely to die from a heart attack in the line of duty than are policemen, and three times more likely than EMTs. Now a study in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that firefighters are up to 136 times more likely to die of a heart attack while fighting a blaze than when they're on non-emergency duty.

Some say that society should aggressively promote heart health and physical fitness to counteract firefighters' special risk — especially among the nation's volunteer firefighters, who make up 70 percent of the total force.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.