[ RadSafe ] Radiation Exposure Tied To Lymphoma Risk In Men

Yoss, Robert ryoss at mcw.edu
Thu Apr 16 07:27:41 CDT 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Although there is a considerable delay
between exposure to ionizing radiation and death from lymphoma, these
events do appear to be connected, researchers report in the April 15th
issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"Radiation-exposed workers who develop lymphoma," lead investigator Dr.
David B. Richardson told Reuters Health, "have found it difficult to
obtain compensation because of the contention that ionizing radiation
does not cause lymphoma."

To shed more light on the possible risk, Dr. Richardson of the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and colleagues studied data
for 15,264 male US nuclear workers who were hired between 1950 and 1986,
and 20,940 male Japanese atomic bomb survivors.

Through 2000, there were 90 malignant lymphoma deaths including 6 from
Hodgkin's disease in the Japanese group. In the US group, there were 56
lymphoma deaths, of which 5 were due to Hodgkin's disease.

Using a 5-year lag assumption, the team found the excess relative risk
(ERR) per sievert was 0.79 in the Japanese cohort and 6.99 in the US
workers. Use of a 10-year lag assumption prompted a slight increase in
the magnitude of the association.

At 35 or more years after exposure, in the Japanese cohort, there was a
positive association between dose and lymphoma mortality (ERR per
sievert, 1.93). Moreover, in the US workers, the dose-response
association appeared 35 years or more since the initial exposure event.
No relationship between Hodgkin's disease and lymphoma mortality was

Thus, concluded Dr. Richardson, "this study provides evidence of
increasing lymphoma risk with increasing radiation dose among male US
nuclear workers and among male Japanese atomic bomb survivors."

Am J Epidemiol 2009;169:969-976.


Bob Yoss
ryoss at mcw.edu

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