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Fire Prevention & Safety Research and Development Grants - 2010 Grant Award - 01812

This page contains information about Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Research and Development (R&D) Grant number EMW-2010-FP-01812. The content is useful for those in the fire service seeking information about to how to improve the safety and health of firefighters. 


Project Title:Impact of Adenovirus-36 and Obesity in the Fire Service on Health & Safety
Organization:University of Texas Health Science, Houston
Principle Investigator:R. Sue Day, Ph.D
Grant Number:EMW-2010-FP-01812
Award Total:$999,972.00
Period of Performance:06/04/2011 – 10/03/2013
Grant Status:Completed




Obesity is associated with psychosocial and metabolic co-morbidities including cardiovascular disease (CVD). Firefighters have high rates of overweight and obesity, a relatively high incidence of CVD and injury, and low physical fitness. A recent and novel finding indicates that Adenovirus 36 (Ad-36) causes the development of obesity in animals and may act similarly in humans.


This study will examine the role of naturally-acquired Ad-36 in the etiology of obesity in firefighters. Ad-36 may exacerbate the development of adiposity, independent of diet and physical activity, and impact blood lipids and hormones associated with CVD risk.


This project will capitalize on the ongoing firefighter cohort (EMW-2009-FP-01971), sharing the epidemiologic and adiposity data collected in the initial project. Analyses will include: the association of naturally-acquired Ad-36 exposure with obesity (e.g., BMI, body fat percentage, or waist circumference); the longitudinal relationship of Ad-36 exposure with obesity and adiposity measures; the impact of dietary intake and physical activity on the relationship of Ad-36 and adiposity; and the relationship of Ad-36 exposure to serum lipids and hormones, dietary intake, fitness, and key indicators of firefighter health and readiness. Phlebotomists will accompany the research team to collect fasting blood on site.

Projected Results and Conclusions

This study will provide data for the first report of Ad-36 exposure and obesity in firefighters and the first longitudinal study in any human population of this obesity risk factor. Results will include careful examination of Ad-36's role with modifiable risk factors for obesity and CVD and assessment of key indicators of firefighters' health and readiness. Each firefighter will receive results of their lipid panel for participation. If Ad-36 contributes to the development of obesity in firefighters, wellness intervention strategies could offer cause-specific, effective prevention of future exposure so that negative health effects could be avoided.

Last Updated: 
06/20/2017 - 10:04