WTC Study Reveals Psych Toll

The first findings from a massive collection of health data at Ground Zero were made public yesterday, showing that residents and emergency workers have more psychological problems than average New Yorkers, as well as persistent cough and respiratory ailments.

Eight percent of the 57,000 participants in the World Trade Center health registry who were questioned reported a serious mental problem after 9/11.

The citywide average for such problems is 5 percent, officials noted.

The registry comprises a total of 70,000 individuals, including downtown residents, those present when the Twin Towers collapsed and emergency responders.

The survey also found:

  • 47 percent had sinus problems.
  • 42 percent had shortness of breath.
  • 37 percent had persistent cough.
  • 38 percent had wheezing and throat irritation.

Under the registry program, participants are periodically questioned about their health. In the future, they may be given medical exams as well. Officials hope to track enrollees for as long as 20 years.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, who himself is enrolled in the study, called the registry