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Current Hypertension Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-4021
ISSN (Online): 1875-6506

General Review Article

Blood Pressure Responses in Firefighters: A Review

Author(s): Carly McMorrow and Deborah L Feairheller*

Volume 18, Issue 2, 2022

Published on: 14 February, 2022

Page: [145 - 152] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1573402118666220103094201

Price: $65


Blood pressure (BP) responses are controlled by various factors and understanding how BP changes is important to occupational health. This paper presents a review of the literature that reports BP responses in the firefighter population. Hypertension is one of the main risk factors underlying the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cardiac incidents remain the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in firefighters. Risk factors for line-of-duty deaths include obesity, previous or underlying heart disease, and hypertension. The occupation of firefighting is one of the most hazardous and dangerous jobs, yet over 50 % of firefighters are volunteers. Tactical operations and the hazardous nature of firefighting are exposures that influence stress responses and, therefore, affect BP. In fact, hypertension in firefighters often remains undocumented or undiagnosed. CVD risk and elevated BP in tactical populations, like firefighters, maybe a combination of physical and emotional stress due to the nature of the job. Cross-sectional studies have reported that firefighters have higher levels of BP and higher rates of hypertension compared to civilians. Interestingly, there is a limited amount of research that reports BP values before and after firefighting- related activities, and very few studies on interventional changes in BP. Here, we synthesize the literature on firefighting and provide a summary of the studies that report pre- and post- BP levels that relate to CVD risk factors, occupational factors, firefighting activities, and the data on exercise training and BP. More studies are needed that examine BP in firefighters and report on the changes in BP with occupational activities.

Keywords: Firefighters, blood pressure responses, occupational, exercise, hypertension, cardiovascular disease.

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