Wildland firefighting: adverse influence on indices of metabolic and cardiovascular health
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Robert Coker; Carl J. Murphy; Michelle Johannsen; Grant Galvin; Brent C. Ruby
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

  • firefighter health
  • firefighting
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 12, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 58030


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate pre- and postseason measures of body composition, skeletal muscle, and blood parameters/liver lipid in wildland firefighters (WLFF) over the fire season. Methods: Alaskan WLFF (N = 27) crews were evaluated pre- and postwildfire season, which included 63 ± 10 operational days. Body composition, thigh muscle area, and liver lipid were quantified using dual-energy radiograph absorptiometry and magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Blood metabolic and lipid panels were also collected and analyzed. Results: Total body, fat, and visceral fat mass increased from pre- to postseason (P < 0.05). Total cholesterol, LDL, and total globulin also increased (P < 0.05). There was a trend (P = 0.06) towards an increase in intrahepatic lipid. Conclusions: The observed maladaptive changes in adipose tissue, blood lipids, and hepatic function may reflect adaptations/consequences to occupational demands/conditions and warrant evaluation of appropriate countermeasures.

Online Link(s):
Coker, Robert H.; Murphy, Carl J.; Johannsen, Michelle; Galvin, Grant; Ruby, Brent C. 2019. Wildland firefighting: adverse influence on indices of metabolic and cardiovascular health. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 61(3):e91-e94.