Myeloma precursor disease (MGUS) among rescue and recovery workers exposed to the World Trade Center disaster

Rachel Zeig-Owens, David G. Goldfarb, Benjamin J. Luft, Xiaohua Yang, Kazunori Murata, Lakshmi Ramanathan, Katie Thoren, Sital Doddi, Urvi A. Shah, Alexandra K. Mueller, Charles B. Hall, Orsi Giricz, Amit Verma, David J. Prezant, Ola Landgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An elevated risk of myeloma precursor disease, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), was identified among Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed firefighters. Further investigation was needed to determine if these findings were reproducible in a more heterogeneous WTC-exposed rescue/recovery workers cohort, the Stony Brook University-General Responder Cohort GRC (SBU-GRC). MGUS risk was compared between the cohorts and to published general population estimates from Olmsted County, MN, USA. In this observational seroprevalence study, odds ratios (OR) and age-standardized risk ratios (RR) of MGUS (M-spike and light-chain-MGUS combined), M-spike, and light-chain-MGUS were estimated using logistic regression. Age-standardized prevalences were calculated for white males aged 50–79; RRs were estimated by comparing risk in the WTC-exposed cohort with the Olmsted County screened cohort. SBU-GRC had elevated odds of MGUS compared with FDNY (OR = 1.38; 95%CI = 1.00–1.89). The age-standardized prevalence of MGUS was 9.0/100 persons (95%CI = 7.5–10.6), over two-fold higher than the general population (RR = 2.08; 95%CI = 1.72–2.51); the age-standardized prevalence of light-chain-MGUS was 3.5-fold higher (RR = 3.54; 95%CI = 2.52–4.97). This study adds to mounting evidence supporting an association between WTC/environmental exposures and MGUS among rescue/recovery workers. Access to MGUS screenings for the entire WTC-exposed cohort could allow for treatment interventions that improve survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120
JournalBlood cancer journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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