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Radiat Res. 2005 Dec;164(6):820-7.

Effects of radiation on the longitudinal trends of hemoglobin levels in the Japanese atomic bomb survivors.

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  • 1Departments of Statistics, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan.


The late effects of radiation on the hematopoietic system have not been fully evaluated. We examined the long-term effects of radiation exposure on hemoglobin levels in the Japanese atomic bomb survivors over a 40-year period from 1958 to 1998. Compared to the unexposed survivors, the mean hemoglobin levels for those exposed to a bone marrow dose of 1 Gy were significantly reduced by 0.10 g/dl (95% CI: 0.04 to 0.16) or 0.67% at 40 years of age (P < 0.0001) and by 0.24 g/dl (95% CI: 0.08 to 0.40) or 1.8% at 80 years of age. Radiation effects are greater for smokers than for nonsmokers at age less than 35 years (P < 0.01), although cigarette smoking was associated with increased hemoglobin levels. Sex and birth cohort differences in radiation effects were not found after adjusting for smoking. The radiation-induced reduction in hemoglobin levels could not be explained by the presence of certain anemia-associated diseases.

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