Article Text

Download PDFPDF

0354 Incidence of cardiovascular disease among danish firefighters – a cohort study
  1. Julie Elbæk Pedersen1,
  2. Kajsa Petersen2,
  3. Niels Ebbehøj1,
  4. Jens Peter Bonde1,
  5. Johnni Hansen2
  1. 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2The Danish Cancer Society Research Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark


Objectives To explore the incidence of selected diagnoses of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) among 11.691 male Danish firefighters, including the relative risk among different exposure groups.

Methods Trade unions, with firefighter membership records, Danish municipalities and private companies covering firefighting assignments supplied historical employment records to this study. The Supplementary Pension Fund Register, with information on all employees in Denmark, was used to establish two occupational reference groups: a) a random sample from the employed male population and b) the military. Information on CVD, 1977–2014, was retrieved from the Danish National Patient Registry. Age and calendar standardised incidence rates (SIR) were estimated using reference group rates.

Results The number of observed cases significantly exceeded the expected number for all cardiovascular diseases combined when firefighters were compared with both references. Significantly increased SIRs were also observed for angina pectoris (1.16, 95% CI=1.08–1.24), acute myocardial infarction (1.16, 95% CI=1.06–1.26), chronic ischaemic heart disease (1.15, 95% CI=1.06–1.24) and atrial fibrillation/flutter (1.25, 95% CI=1.14–1.36) compared with the general working population sample. When comparing the firefighters with the military, results reflected the same pattern. In subgroup analyses, the risk of CVD was elevated for full-time employed firefighters, but decreased with increasing duration of employment.

Conclusion Our study indicates a modest elevated CVD incidence among Danish firefighters. This study is the first large cohort study exploring the association between firefighting and CVD incidence, and more studies including more detailed information on ”dose” of firefighting and potential confounding factors are warranted.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.