20 years passed after that shocking incident. Do you consider yourself at higher risk of lung infection as a 9-11 first responder? If yes, there is good news. Regulating your body weight minimizes your lung risk.
The study should offer relief to those who fear that first responders to that 9-11 incident are prone to lung diseases.
Weight Loss Reduces Lung-Risk For First-Responders
Health officials always feared that 9-11 first responders were are at high risk of lung infections. They had to breathe in those fine particles, chemicals, and smoke from the World Trade Center when extremists attacked it.
Scientists at NYU Grossman School of Medicine studied the data of two decades from over 5,700 firefighters who responded to the 9-11 attacks. 1,475 among them fell ill due to lung diseases. Researchers attribute five risk factors to the same:
- High blood pressure
- high levels of cholesterol
- Insulin resistance
All these are factors leading to metabolic syndrome. These are considered to be risk factors for heart ailments, diabetes, and stroke.
The study reveals that changing at least one among these factors will protect them from lung diseases. 20 years’ time does not have to be taken into account, they say.
For instance, a male first responder can reduce his risk of lung injury up to 20% if he sheds 7 pounds.
Health experts were aware that first responders with metabolic syndrome were prone to the issues like asthma. But they still could not connect it with lung injury.
Researchers published their findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine on September 2nd.
The findings not only apply to 9-11 first responders, but also to those living in cities struggling with environmental pollution. Even when living in the most polluted environment, regulating body weight minimizes your risk of lung diseases.
Doing the following too will help you keep your lungs healthy:
- Quit smoking
Smoking is the main villain when it comes to lung cancer and other lung diseases. Smoke from cigarettes makes your airway smaller. This makes it difficult for you to breathe. Prolonged smoking damages the tissues inside your lung. This causes inflammation and creates cancerous growths. There is no such a time as too late or too early. Do it now; you will see benefits within five days of quitting it.
- Work out regularly
Regular exercise, as you know, keeps your body fit. The same applies to your lungs. When you work out, your heartbeat increases. This forces your lungs to work hard. It gives your muscles the extra energy they need for you to exercise. In the process, they expel more carbon dioxide. According to a study, during a workout session, you breathe 15 to 46 times a minute.
This gives your lungs the exercise they need; they expand and contract to receive oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. When this becomes a part of your life, your lungs get stronger.
- Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated works miracles not only for your body but also for your lungs. Drinking lots of water keeps the lining reduces the hardness of your lungs’ mucosal lining. This helps your lungs to perform at their best.
- Laugh as much as you can
Laughing is great medicine; experts say. It is a highly recommended exercise for your lungs. When you laugh, you force your lungs to push out the bad air. This gives way for more fresh air to enter your lungs. This too keeps your lungs in good condition for long.
Draining the mucus from your lungs at regular intervals too is a highly recommended lung cleansing workout. Known as postural drainage, this uses the gravitational force to cleanse out your lungs. Do this a few times a week; you will keep your lungs strong and clean.