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Ground Zero Responders Found To Have Elevated Anxiety Levels

NEW YORK -- New York lawmakers, citing a new study that finds many ground zero rescue workers have anxiety levels similar to those of war veterans, are calling on the federal government to support health care for them.

The study, by researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, found that among more than 10,000 workers, 11% met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder, and 8.8% had probable depression. Researchers said the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder is similar to the rate experienced by veterans who served in Afghanistan.

In a statement, New York lawmakers including Senator Clinton and Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Vito Fossella, and Edolphus Towns, said the study highlighted the need to fund health care services for responders.

"We now have the science to back up what we have long known - much more needs to be done to help those brave first responders who are still suffering the physical and psychological consequences of 9/11," Mr. Nadler, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, said.

"The time for this president to take action is now," Ms. Maloney, who represents parts of Manhattan and Queens, said.

Other studies by Mount Sinai researchers linked recovery work and lung disease among rescue workers. In 2006, researchers found that nearly 70% of rescue workers exposed to toxic dust at ground zero became ill as a result.

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