(HealthDay News) — World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed rescue/recovery workers have an increased risk for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the Blood Cancer Journal.

Rachel Zeig-Owens, Dr.P.H., from the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, and colleagues examined whether the elevated risk for MGUS, identified among Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) WTC-exposed firefighters, was reproducible in a more heterogeneous WTC-exposed rescue/recovery workers cohort, the Stony Brook University-General Responder Cohort (SBU-GRC). The odds ratios and age-standardized risk ratios of MGUS (M-spike and light-chain-MGUS combined), M-spike, and light-chain-MGUS were estimated.

The researchers found that, compared with the FDNY, the SBU-GRC had elevated odds of MGUS (odds ratio, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.89). The age-standardized prevalence of MGUS was 9.0 per 100 persons, which was elevated more than 2-fold compared with the general population. The age-standardized prevalence of light-chain MGUS was increased 3.5-fold.

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“While a randomized controlled trial examining the risks and benefits of MGUS screening is ongoing and will provide clearer guidance on public health recommendations, if improved survival among MGUS-screened cohorts is demonstrated, the important findings from our current study provide evidence that screening of WTC-exposed cohorts should be recommended,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text