THE RISK OF RADIATION-INDUCED CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE IN CHERNOBYL EMERGENCY WORKERS

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Abstract

Abstract—

The paper deals with estimating radiation risks of non-cancer diseases of the circulatory system among the Chernobyl emergency workers based on data from the Russian National Medical and Dosimetric Registry. The results for the cohort of 61,017 people observed between 1986 and 2000 are discussed. These are essentially updated results for the similar cohort that was studied by authors earlier in 1986–1996. Newly discovered is the statistically significant dose risk of ischemic heart disease [ERR Gy−1 = 0.41, 95% CI = (0.05; 0.78)]. Confirmation is provided for the existence of significant dose risks for essential hypertension [ERR Gy−1 = 0.36, 95% CI = (0.005; 0.71)] and cerebrovascular diseases [ERR Gy−1 = 0.45, 95% CI = (0.11; 0.80)]. In 1996–2000, the assessed ERR Gy−1 for cerebrovascular diseases was 0.22 with 95% CI = (−0.15; 0.58). Special consideration is given to cerebrovascular diseases in the cohort of 29,003 emergency workers who arrived in the Chernobyl zone during the first year after the accident. The statistically significant heterogeneity of the dose risk of cerebrovascular diseases is shown as a function of the duration of stay in the Chernobyl zone: ERR Gy−1 = 0.89 for durations of less than 6 wk, and ERR Gy−1 = 0.39 on average. The at-risk group with respect to cerebrovascular diseases are those who received external radiation doses greater than 150 mGy in less than 6 wk [RR = 1.18, 95% CI = (1.00; 1.40)]. For doses above 150 mGy, the statistically significant risk of cerebrovascular diseases as a function of averaged dose rate (mean daily dose) was observed: ERR per 100 mGy d−1 = 2.17 with 95% CI = (0.64; 3.69). The duration of stay within the Chernobyl zone itself, regardless of the dose factor, had little influence on cerebrovascular disease morbidity: ERR wk−1 = −0.002, with 95% CI = (−0.004; −0.001). The radiation risks in this large-scale cohort study were not adjusted for recognized risk factors such as excessive weight, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, alcohol consumption, and others.

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