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The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program is Reviewing Autoimmune Study

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program is reviewing a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the American College of Rheumatology’s Journal, Arthritis & Rheumatology, and currently available online, regarding the risk of new-onset autoimmune disease in individuals with exposures related to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

The study, “Nested Case-Control Study of Selected Systemic Autoimmune Diseases in World Trade Center Rescue/Recovery Workers,” by Webber, et al. was funded through a NIOSH Cooperative Agreement. A draft of the study is available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.39059/abstract . According to the study abstract, the authors conclude that prolonged WTC-site work post-9/11 may be an important predictor of systemic autoimmune disease.

The WTC Health Program is examining the study and conducting a systematic literature search and literature evidence review to determine whether the Webber study, as well as any other relevant evidence, may provide a basis for adding any conditions to the list of WTC-related health conditions covered for treatment within the Program, in accordance with the WTC Health Program Policy and Procedures for Adding Non-Cancer Conditions to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions.

Following completion of the review, the Administrator will announce next steps on the WTC Health Program webpage.