Firefighters have a high risk of developing cardiovascular and mental disorders due to their physical and chemical environments. However, in Korea, few studies have been conducted on environmental risk of firefighters. The Firefighter Research on the Enhancement of Safety and Health (FRESH) study aimed to discover the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and mental disorders among firefighters. Former and current firefighters were recruited from three university hospitals. A total of 1022 participants completed baseline health examinations from 2016 to 2017. All participants were scheduled for follow-ups every 2 years. Baseline health survey, laboratory testing of blood and urine samples, blood heavy metal concentration, urine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) metabolites, stress-related hormone test, natural killer cell activity, as well as physical and mental health examinations that focused on cardiovascular and mental disorders, were conducted. In addition, 3 Tesla (3T) brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuropsychological tests were also performed to investigate structural and functional changes in the brains of 352 firefighters aged >40 years or new hires with less than 1 year of service.
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