[ RadSafe ] Scientists discover possible radiation and heart disease link

John R Johnson idias at interchange.ubc.ca
Wed Mar 5 12:39:38 CST 2008


There is a link between radiation and cardiovascular disease. See Darby et 
al (BMJ Vol. 326, pp256-257, 2003) and our poster at the IRPA-11 meeting.

John R Johnson, PhD
4535 West 9th Ave
Vancouver, B. C.
V6R 2E2, Canada
idias at interchange.ubc.ca

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fred Dawson" <fred-dawson at blueyonder.co.uk>
To: <srp-uk at yahoogroups.com>
Cc: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2008 8:53 AM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Scientists discover possible radiation and heart 
disease link

> Guardian reports
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/04/nuclear.nuclearpower
> A study of nearly 65,000 nuclear industry workers over more than 60 years
> has found a possible link between high radiation exposure and heart 
> disease.
> The finding was particularly surprising since there is no established
> biological mechanism that would explain how radiation exposure might cause
> heart disease. However, the research team stressed that its analysis could
> not rule out other factors that could explain the link, such as 
> work-related
> stress or irregular shift patterns.
> The team studied 64,818 workers at the Sellafield, Springfields, 
> Chapelcross
> and Capenhurst nuclear sites. Some of the workers began work in the 
> industry
> as far back as 1946, and 42,426 were exposed to radiation as part of their
> job.
> When the researchers compared workers occupationally exposed to radiation
> with those who were not, they did not find any difference in the number of
> cases of heart disease and stroke. However, when they split the
> radiation-exposed workers into groups with different levels of exposure
> (based on readings from radiation-monitoring badges worn by all staff) 
> they
> did see a disparity.
> Those workers who were exposed to the highest levels had a slightly lower
> life expectancy due to an increased probability of heart disease and
> strokes. "We see a higher mortality for those workers with the highest 
> level
> of operation exposure," said Prof Steve Jones of Westlakes Scientific
> Consulting, the private company hired by British Nuclear Fuels and the
> Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to carry out the research.
> The team stressed that because the analysis was carried out 
> retrospectively,
> it could not be sure that the findings ruled out other factors that could 
> be
> responsible for the results. "We can't show whether it's a consequence of
> that exposure or whether it's due to something else," said Jones.
> However, he added that if radiation were the cause, then the workers who
> have experienced the highest levels of exposure have roughly a 73% chance 
> of
> surviving until they are 70, compared with a 75% chance if they had 
> received
> no exposure at all.
> The findings will have little relevance for workers joining the industry
> today, according to the team. "I don't think it's a big issue for nuclear
> workers at present or in the future because the exposure levels are so 
> low,"
> said the report's co-author Michael Gillies. In the 1960s, workers were
> exposed to up to a radiation dose of 12 millisieverts per year compared 
> with
> around one millisievert per year now.
> The most highly exposed workers received a radiation dose around five to 
> 10
> times less during their entire working lives than survivors of the atomic
> bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
> In any case, workers in the nuclear industry are generally much healthier
> than the general population, despite the health risks they may face at 
> work.
> By comparing their sample with the average for the local population, the
> team found that the mortality rate of nuclear workers is 20% lower.
> The team reported its findings today in the International Journal of
> Epidemiology.
> ======================
> Fwp_dawson at hotmail.com
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