Firefighters in Indiana are at a higher risk of dying from cancer than non-firefighters according to a new study. The recently published paper looked at cause of death for more than 2,800 Hoosier firefighters over a nearly 30 year period.
Many national reports show this trend, but Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI researcher Carolyn Muegge says this report is Indiana-specific.
"Now we have data to support our Indiana firefighters and don’t have to apply other data," says Muegge.
The paper finds Hoosier firefighters are 20 percent more likely due to malignant cancers.
Muegge says this is a first step.
"This is the study that justifies there is excess mortality among firefighters, now the next step is to dig a little deeper into risk factors and study them," says Muegge.
The study of risk reduction programs at departments in Indiana could also be part of future state-specific studies.