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Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Apr 15;169(8):969-76. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp018. Epub 2009 Mar 6.

Positive associations between ionizing radiation and lymphoma mortality among men.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599, USA.


The authors investigated the relation between ionizing radiation and lymphoma mortality in 2 cohorts: 1) 20,940 men in the Life Span Study, a study of Japanese atomic bomb survivors who were aged 15-64 years at the time of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 2) 15,264 male nuclear weapons workers who were hired at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina between 1950 and 1986. Radiation dose-mortality trends were evaluated for all malignant lymphomas and for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Positive associations between lymphoma mortality and radiation dose under a 5-year lag assumption were observed in both cohorts (excess relative rates per sievert were 0.79 (90% confidence interval: 0.10, 1.88) and 6.99 (90% confidence interval: 0.96, 18.39), respectively). Exclusion of deaths due to Hodgkin's disease led to small changes in the estimates of association. In each cohort, evidence of a dose-response association was primarily observed more than 35 years after irradiation. These findings suggest a protracted induction and latency period for radiation-induced lymphoma mortality.

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