Serum pneumoproteins: A cross-sectional comparison of firefighters and police

Jefferey L. Burgess, Mark L. Witten, Christopher J. Nanson, Tracy A. Hysong, Duane L. Sherrill, Stuart F. Quan, Richard Gerkin, Alfred M. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Serum pneumoproteins provide a measure of the permeability of the lower respiratory tract, and have shown promise as a biomarker of acute and chronic exposure to respiratory toxicants. Methods: To evaluate the effects of chronic occupational smoke exposure, 105 firefighters were compared with 44 police controls in a cross-sectional study using spirometry, diffusing capacity of the lung, serum Clara cell protein (CC16), and serum surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) measurements. Results: There were no significant differences in age, gender, height, spirometry (FVC and FEV1), and diffusing capacity between the two groups. Serum SP-A was lower in firefighters (260.1±121.2 μ/L) than police (316.0±151.4 μg/L, P = 0.019). Serum CC16 was also lower in firefighters (8.39±3.11 μg/l) than police (10.56±4.20 μg/L, P<0.001), although this difference lost statistical significance when adjusted for confounders. Conclusions: Firefighters have lower serum concentrations of SP-A than do police. Although the clinical significance of this finding is presently unknown, SP-A deserves further study as a biomarker of toxic exposure to the lower respiratory tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Clara cell-specific protein
  • Firefighters
  • Police
  • Pulmonary surfactant associated protein
  • Spirometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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