Fire Prevention & Safety Research and Development Grants - 2009 Grant Awards

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This page contains information about Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Research and Development (R&D) Grant number EMW-2009-FP-00921. The content is useful for those in the fire service seeking information about to how to improve the safety and health of firefighters.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Data
Project Title:The Role of Statins in Preventing Cardiovascular Dysfunction
Organization:University of Pittsburgh
Principle Investigator:David P. Hostler, PhD
Grant Number:EMW-2009-FP-00921
Award Total:$696,303
Period of Performance:4/30/10 – 8/31/12
Grant Status:Completed



Firefighters suffer the highest line of duty death rate of any occupation with the majority of deaths resulting from cardiovascular events. In recent years, studies have identified the potential triggers of sudden cardiac death among firefighters. These triggers are generally associated with inflammatory and coagulation cascades that occur during acute and chronic exposure to exhaustive cardiovascular strain while hyperthermic and dehydrated. Although these pathologic pathways are becoming clearer as they are investigated, very little is known about the role that preventative pharmacological measures may play in potentially decreasing these internal derangements in otherwise healthy individuals.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of a statin (Lipitor) in the prevention of abnormal cardiovascular responses associated with fire suppression activities. Statins are expected to prevent the abnormal cardiovascular responses due to their ability to systemically improve arterial endothelial function and reduce inflammation.


This is a double blind, placebo-controlled study that will examine the effects of six weeks of statin therapy on cardiovascular function, inflammation, and physiologic stress responses in 50 firefighters who participate in a live-burn evolution. Also, a case study will be carried out to quantify the costs associated with implementing a preventative therapy program, such as pharmacotherapy with statins, in both paid and volunteer fire departments.

Projected Results and Conclusions

Last Updated: 
10/10/2014 - 18:24
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