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Am J Ind Med. 2003 Sep;44(3):246-53.

Serum pneumoproteins: a cross-sectional comparison of firefighters and police.

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Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Arizona College of Public Health, 1435 N. Fremont, Box 210468, Tucson, AZ 85719-4197, USA.



Serum pneumoproteins provide a measure of the permeability of the lower respiratory tract, and have shown promise as a biomarker of acute and chronic exposure to respiratory toxicants.


To evaluate the effects of chronic occupational smoke exposure, 105 firefighters were compared with 44 police controls in a cross-sectional study using spirometry, diffusing capacity of the lung, serum Clara cell protein (CC16), and serum surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) measurements.


There were no significant differences in age, gender, height, spirometry (FVC and FEV(1)), and diffusing capacity between the two groups. Serum SP-A was lower in firefighters (260.1 +/- 121.2 microg/L) than police (316.0 +/- 151.4 microg/L, P = 0.019). Serum CC16 was also lower in firefighters (8.39 +/- 3.11 microg/L) than police (10.56 +/- 4.20 microg/L, P < 0.001), although this difference lost statistical significance when adjusted for confounders.


Firefighters have lower serum concentrations of SP-A than do police. Although the clinical significance of this finding is presently unknown, SP-A deserves further study as a biomarker of toxic exposure to the lower respiratory tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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