Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Font Size

Heartburn, Reflux Seen in 9/11 Survivors

New Study Shows Lingering Health Effects of People at Ground Zero

Dust Inhaled and Swallowed

The new findings are “not unexpected,” says E. Neil Schachter, MD, the medical director of respiratory care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

The asthma-GERD connection is a well-known one, he says.

There are some safety mechanisms in place that prevent what we eat or drink from entering our lungs (aspiration), he says.

After 9/11, “all that stuff that was breathed into the back of our throats got mixed in with saliva and we swallowed it,” he says.

This may have irritated the upper GI tract and caused some of the symptoms seen in the new study, he says.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
 
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
 
digestive health
Slideshow
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Article
 
heartburn
Article
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Video
 
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
Video
digestive myths
Slideshow
 
Extreme Eats
Slideshow
graphic of esophageal area
Article