Do Firefighters Have an Increased Risk of Developing ALS?


As part of ALS Awareness Month, we’re looking at some of the research into ALS and which populations are more likely to develop the disease. Over the years, researchers have focused on the connection between firefighters and various diseases, including cancer and heart disease, but recent studies have shown that firefighters are more at risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

MORE: May is ALS Awareness Month

According to an article from, a 2010 study of death certificates from 24 states found that firefighters were twice as likely to die from ALS than those not working in the service. The authors of the study said that the intermittent episodes of hypoxia firefighters experience throughout their careers was probably the cause of the high number of ALS cases.

MORE: ALS rate in miners exposed to McIntyre powder is causing concern.

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  1. Andre says:

    I reckon hypoxia is also present in the lives of veterans who also have higher rates of being diagnosed with ALS. Does that mean that intense physical exercise increases the chances of developing the disease?

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