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Active firefighting is associated with a significant increased risk of sudden cardiac death. This increased risk is presumed to eflect the combined effects of increased physical work, psychological stimulation, exposure to particulate matter, and other products of combustion, hyperthermia, and dehydration during firefighting, all of which may augment arrhythmogenic sympathetic drive and collectively serve as cardiac stressors.
Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 45% of duty-related fatalities among United States firefighters. Strenuous physical exertion is recognized as a trigger of sudden cardiac events.
Fire suppression and emergency duties are associated with a markedly higher risk of death from coronary heart disease (CHD) compared with nonemergency duties.
Left ventricular (LV) mass is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events; increased LV mass is common among US Ô¨ÅreÔ¨Åghters and plays a major role in Ô¨ÅreÔ¨Åghter sudden cardiac death.