What Kills Fire Fighters Faster?

The answer to the rhetorical question posed in the headline above may surprise you. The leading killer of voluntary and career fire fighters is sudden cardiac death and not fires, according to a CDC study (free report link below).

Researchers studied the deaths of nearly 1,000 fire fighters from 1994-2004. More than 60 percent of them were volunteers and nearly all who lost their lives were men ranging in age from 45-54.

Among volunteer fire fighters, an alarming 50 percent of the deaths were blamed on heart attacks and career professionals weren't much better at 39 percent. (An interesting sidenote: The second leading cause of death among volunteers was from auto-related accidents.)

By far, the leading contributors to heart attack deaths in professional and volunteer fire fighters were stress and overexertion. Thankfully, one of the best solutions for treating heart disease -- exercise -- is one of the safest and best things you could do for your physical and emotional health and it doesn't cost much more than your time. The trick about exercise: It's an activity that must be prescribed precisely for you to achieve the best results.

That said, exercise and proper nutrition go hand-in-hand in optimizing your health.

CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 55, No. 16, April 28, 2006: 453-455 Full Free Text Study

iVillage April 27, 2006

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