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J Radiat Res. 1991 Mar;32 Suppl:310-26.

A review of forty-five years study of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors. Aging.

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

Abstract

The hypothesis that exposure to ionizing radiation accelerates the aging process has been actively investigated at ABCC-RERF since 1958, when longitudinal cohort studies of the Adult Health Study (AHS) and the Life Span Study (LSS) were initiated. In their 1975 overall review of aging studies related to the atomic bomb (A-bomb) survivors, Finch and Beebe concluded that while most studies had shown no correlation between aging and radiation exposure, they had not involved the large numbers of subjects required to provide strong evidence for or against the hypothesis. Extending LSS mortality data up to 1978 did not alter the earlier conclusion that any observed life-shortening was associated primarily with cancer induction rather than with any nonspecific cause. The results of aging studies conducted during the intervening 15 years using data from the same populations are reviewed in the present paper. Using clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory techniques, a broad spectrum of aging parameters have been studied, such as postmortem morphological changes, tests of functional capacity, physical tests and measurements, laboratory tests, tissue changes, and morbidity. With respect to the aging process, the overall results have not been consistent and are generally thought to show no relation to radiation exposure. Although some preliminary results suggest a possible radiation-induced increase in atherosclerotic diseases and acceleration of aging in the T cell-related immune system, further study is necessary to confirm these findings. In the future, applying the latest gerontological study techniques to data collected from subjects exposed 45 years ago to A-bomb radiation at relatively young ages will present a new body of data relevant to the study of late radiation effects.

PMID:
1762120
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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