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Systematic Review
Non-cancer health risks in firefighters: a systematic review
Jeong Ah Kim, Soo Yeon Song, Wonjeong Jeong, Jae Kwan Jun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022109.   Published online November 16, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022109
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
osFirefighters are occupationally exposed to hazardous factors that may increase their risk of disease. However, non-cancer disease risk in firefighters has not been systematically examined. This systematic review aimed to identify non-cancer disease risk in firefighters and determine whether the risk differs according to job characteristics. We searched the Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed, and KoreaMed databases using relevant keywords from their inception to April 30, 2021. The Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Non-randomized Studies version 2.0 was used to assess the quality of evidence. Due to study heterogeneity, a narrative synthesis was presented. The systematic literature search yielded 2,491 studies, of which 66 met the selection and quality criteria. We confirmed that the healthy worker effect is strong in firefighters as compared to the general population. We also identified a significant increase in the incidence of lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in firefighters compared to other occupational groups. Contradictory results for the risk of PTSD and anxiety disorders related to rank were reported. Sufficient evidence for increased risk of lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and PTSD was available. The risk of non-cancer diseases varied depending on job type, years of service, and rank. However, caution should be exercised when interpreting the results because the classification criteria for firefighters’ jobs and ranks differ by country.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 소방관과 비암성 질환과의 직업관련성을 파악하기 위해 체계적 문헌고찰을 수행하였다. 소방관은 근골격계 질환, 협심증, 심근경색, 외상후 스트레스 장애 등 일부 질환에서 일관된 직업관련성이 보고되었다. 하지만 대부분의 연구에서 연구결과가 건강근로자효과의 영향을 보정하지 못하였고 근무형태, 근무조건, 근무강도 등에 따라 일관되지 못한 결과를 보고하고 있다.
Key Message
In firefighters, risks of lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and post-traumatic stress disorder were increased constantly. Due to the failure to avoid the healthy-worker effect, consistent relationship between firefighters and non-cancerous diseases has not been reported.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Associations between Recognition and Behaviors Regarding the Use, Washing and Management of Firefighting Protection Suits and Public Health Awareness of Occupational Exposure Risks among Firefighters
    Soo Jin Kim, Seunghon Ham
    Fire.2024; 7(5): 156.     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health