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Clin Cardiol. 2006 Jan;29(1):13-7.

Cardiac sequelae in Brooklyn after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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Division of Cardiology, University of Texas Medical School - Houston, USA.



Terrorism, such as the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001, result in higher stress-related disorders, especially in those persons in close proximity.


Cardiac events resulting from the September 11, 2001 tragedy have not been detailed near the WTC.


Patients admitted to the Telemetry and Coronary Care Units at New York Methodist Hospital 4 miles from the WTC 60 days prior to and after the September 11 attacks were analyzed. In all, 1,653 admissions were reviewed: 427 records pre 9/11/2001 and 422, 393, and 411 records in the post-9/11/2001, pre-9/11/2000, and post-9/11/2000 data sets, respectively. Patients were categorized based on diagnosis: acute myocardial infarction (MI), unstable angina (UA), tachyarrhythmia (TA), and others (including syncope and congestive heart failure).


There was a significant difference in the proportion of the various cardiac diagnoses post 9/11/01 (p = 0.008 by chi-square analysis). Compared with pre 9/11/2001, there were significantly more patients with acute MI (15.5 vs. 11.2%) and TA (19.9 vs. 13.6%) but fewer with UA (39.6 vs. 47.3%) after the terrorist attacks. The distribution of cardiac events during a similar period of time in 2000 revealed no such pattern.


There was a significant increase in acute MI and TA and a smaller increase in UA after the September 11 attacks. The difference did not appear to be due to temporal variation. It appears that stress likely contributed to an increase in TA by itself or with ischemia, resulting in progression of UA to acute MI.

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