Firefighters Face Added Risk of Fatal Heart Attack

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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.



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