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R.H. Coker, C.J. Murphy, M. Johannsen, G. Galvin, B.C. Ruby
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Human Factors of Firefighter Safety
Wildland Firefighter Health

NRFSN number: 19580
Record updated:

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.


Coker RH, Murphy CJ, Johannsen M, Galvin G, Ruby BC. 2019. Wildland Firefighting: Adverse Influence on Indices of Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health. J Occup Environ Med. 61(3): e91-e94. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001535.

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