AAN logoThe collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 seems to still have its after effects. Apparently workers and residents who have been exposed to dust and fumes caused by the WTC collapse frequently reported a headache for years later.

This latest study comprised of 765 people who were enrolled in the Bellevue Hospital World Trade Center Environmental Health Center seven years after the building collapse. They claimed to have not had headaches before 9/11. About 55 percent of these appeared to have reported exposure to the initial WTC dust cloud.

“We knew that headaches were common in people living and working near the World Trade Center on and immediately after 9/11, but this is the first study to look at headaches several years after the event,” mentioned study author Sara Crystal, MD, with the NYU School of Medicine in New York City.

43 percent of those surveyed reported headaches about four weeks prior to enrolment. This indicated that headache could be a common and persistent symptom in those exposed to World Trade Center dust and fumes. Supposedly those caught in the initial dust cloud were slightly more likely to report headaches as against those not caught in the dust cloud.

This, the authors suggest could probably indicate a greater exposure to be linked with a greater risk of developing persistent headache. In addition to this, individuals with headaches apparently also had higher chances of experiencing wheezing, breathlessness with exercise, nasal drip or sinus congestion and reflux disease after 9/11.

“More research needs to be done on the possible longer-term effects of exposure to gasses and dust when the World Trade Center fell,” Crystal said. “We also need additional studies to understand the relationship between headaches, other physical symptoms, and mental health issues.”

Additional data will be presented by Crystal at the 62nd AAN Annual Meeting.