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J Radiat Res. 2010;51(4):431-9. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Longitudinal trends of total white blood cell and differential white blood cell counts of atomic bomb survivors.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan. hsu@rerf.jp

Abstract

In studying the late health effects of atomic-bomb (A-bomb) survivors, earlier findings were that white blood cell (WBC) count increased with radiation dose in cross-sectional studies. However, a persistent effect of radiation on WBC count and other risk factors has yet to be confirmed. The objectives of the present study were 1) to examine the longitudinal relationship between A-bomb radiation dose and WBC and differential WBC counts among A-bomb survivors and 2) to investigate the potential confounding risk factors (such as age at exposure and smoking status) as well as modification of the radiation dose-response. A total of 7,562 A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were included in this study from 1964-2004. A linear mixed model was applied using the repeated WBC measurements. During the study period, a secular downward trend of WBC count was observed. Radiation exposure was a significant risk factor for elevated WBC and differential WBC counts over time. A significant increase of WBC counts among survivors with high radiation dose (> 2 Gy) was detected in men exposed below the age of 20 and in women regardless of age at exposure. Effects on WBC of low dose radiation remain unclear, however. Cigarette smoking produced the most pronounced effect on WBC counts and its impact was much larger than that of radiation exposure.

PMID:
20543527
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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