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Asthma rates up in kids near WTC

Thursday, November 29th 2007, 4:00 AM

Children who were exposed to dust from the collapsing twin towers had higher-than-expected rates of asthma after the catastrophe, a report released Wednesday shows.

The Health Department found that half of the 3,100 children enrolled in the WTC Health Registry developed a new or exacerbated respiratory problem, such as a cough, after 9/11.

About 6% of children enrolled were diagnosed with asthma after the disaster, higher than national and regional rates. Among children under 5, that rate is nearly twice as high as the Northeast average for that age group, according to the Health Department.

Only 3% of children surveyed showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, similar to children elsewhere. Those exposed to the dust cloud had higher rates of PTSD than children who were not exposed, the report found.

The survey, conducted in 2003 and 2004, is based on children who lived or went to school near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and who completed a survey.

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