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Radiat Res. 2000 Jul;154(1):12-9.

Prevalence of anti-hepatitis C virus antibody and chronic liver disease among atomic bomb survivors.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan.


To investigate whether exposure to atomic bomb radiation altered the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection or accelerated the progress toward chronic hepatitis after HCV infection, the seropositivity of antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) was determined for 6,121 participants in the Adult Health Study of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The seropositivity of anti-HCV antibody was 2.5 times higher among those with a history of blood transfusion and 1.2 times higher among those with a family history of liver disease, whereas acupuncture showed no association with anti-HCV. Although the prevalence of anti-HCV was lower for survivors with positive dose estimates than for those with 0 dose (relative prevalence 0.84, P = 0.022), there was no evidence of a smooth dose-response relationship. However, these data suggested that the radiation dose response for chronic liver disease among HCV antibody-positive survivors may be greater than that among HCV antibody-negative survivors (slope ratio 20). In conclusion, no dose-response relationship was found between anti-HCV positivity and radiation dose; a possible increase in the radiation dose response of chronic liver disease among anti-HCV-positive individuals was found. Thus radiation exposure may accelerate the progress of chronic liver disease associated with hepatitis C virus infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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