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Environ Health Prev Med. 2012 May;17(3):228-34. doi: 10.1007/s12199-011-0246-6. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Cancer mortality among atomic bomb survivors exposed as children.

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Department of School Health Sciences, Aichi University of Education, Kariya, Japan.



To compare cancer mortality among A-bomb survivors exposed as children with cancer mortality among an unexposed control group (the entire population of Japan, JPCG).


The subjects were the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb survivor groups (0-14 years of age in 1945) reported in life span study report 12 (follow-up years were from 1950 to 1990), and a control group consisting of the JPCG. We estimated the expected number of deaths due to all causes and cancers of various causes among the exposed survivors who died in the follow-up interval, if they had died with the same mortality as the JPCG (0-14 years of age in 1945). We calculated the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of A-bomb survivors in comparison with the JPCG.


SMRs were significantly higher in exposed boys overall for all deaths, all cancers, leukemia, and liver cancer, and for exposed girls overall for all cancers, solid cancers, liver cancer, and breast cancer. In boys, SMRs were significantly higher for all deaths and liver cancer even in those exposed to very low doses, and for all cancers, solid cancers, and liver cancer in those exposed to low doses. In girls, SMRs were significantly higher for liver cancer and uterine cancer in those exposed to low doses, and for leukemia, solid cancers, stomach cancer, and breast cancer in those exposed to high doses.


We calculated the SMRs for the A-bomb survivors versus JPCG in childhood and compared them with a true non-exposed group. A notable result was that SMRs in boys exposed to low doses were significantly higher for solid cancer.

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