Dietary phenotype and advanced glycation end-products predict WTC-obstructive airways disease: a longitudinal observational study

Rachel Lam, Sophia Kwon, Jessica Riggs, Maria Sunseri, George Crowley, Theresa Schwartz, Rachel Zeig-Owens, Hilary Colbeth, Allison Halpren, Mengling Liu, David J. Prezant, Anna Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Diet is a modifier of metabolic syndrome which in turn is associated with World Trade Center obstructive airways disease (WTC-OAD). We have designed this study to (1) assess the dietary phenotype (food types, physical activity, and dietary habits) of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) WTC-Health Program (WTC-HP) cohort and (2) quantify the association of dietary quality and its advanced glycation end product (AGE) content with the development of WTC-OAD. Methods: WTC-OAD, defined as developing WTC-Lung Injury (WTC-LI; FEV1 < LLN) and/or airway hyperreactivity (AHR; positive methacholine and/or positive bronchodilator response). Rapid Eating and Activity Assessment for Participants-Short Version (REAP-S) deployed on 3/1/2018 in the WTC-HP annual monitoring assessment. Clinical and REAP-S data of consented subjects was extracted (7/17/2019). Diet quality [low-(15–19), moderate-(20–29), and high-(30–39)] and AGE content per REAP-S questionnaire were assessed for association with WTC-OAD. Regression models adjusted for smoking, hyperglycemia, hypertension, age on 9/11, WTC-exposure, BMI, and job description. Results: N = 9508 completed the annual questionnaire, while N = 4015 completed REAP-S and had spirometry. WTC-OAD developed in N = 921, while N = 3094 never developed WTC-OAD. Low- and moderate-dietary quality, eating more (processed meats, fried foods, sugary drinks), fewer (vegetables, whole-grains),and having a diet abundant in AGEs were significantly associated with WTC-OAD. Smoking was not a significant risk factor of WTC-OAD. Conclusions: REAP-S was successfully implemented in the FDNY WTC-HP monitoring questionnaire and produced valuable dietary phenotyping. Our observational study has identified low dietary quality and AGE abundant dietary habits as risk factors for pulmonary disease in the context of WTC-exposure. Dietary phenotyping, not only focuses our metabolomic/biomarker profiling but also further informs future dietary interventions that may positively impact particulate matter associated lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Diet
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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