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Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2016 Feb;10(1):34-7. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2015.102. Epub 2015 Sep 9.

Living in Contaminated Radioactive Areas Is Not an Acute Risk Factor for Noncommunicable Disease Development: A Retrospective Observational Study.

Author information

1
1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,Soma Central Hospital,Soma,Fukushima,Japan.
2
3Department of Radiation Protection,Soma Central Hospital,Soma,Fukushima,Japan.
3
5Department of Internal Medicine,Soma Central Hospital,Soma,Fukushima,Japan.
4
6Department of Health Services Research and Policy Faculty of Public Health and Policy,London School of Hygiene & Medicine,London,United Kingdom.
5
7Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,School of Public Health,Imperial College London,London,United Kingdom.
6
4Division of Social Communication System for Advanced Clinical Research,the Institute of Medical Science,University of Tokyo,Minato-ku,Tokyo,Japan.
7
8Department of Global Health Policy,Graduate School of Medicine,University of Tokyo,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo,Japan.
8
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,Graduate School of Medical Sciences,Kyushu University,Fukuoka,Fukuoka,Japan.
9
9City Office of Soma,Soma,Fukushima,Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although much attention is now being paid to the health risks associated with nuclear disasters, reliable information is lacking. We retrospectively evaluated the health effects of living in highly contaminated radioactive areas in Japan.

METHODS:

The health evaluation was conducted in Tamano district, Fukushima prefecture, in 2011 and 2012. The surface deposition density of cesium in Tamano was 600 to 1000 kBq/m2 shortly after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Clinical parameters included body mass index, blood pressure, and laboratory examinations for blood cell counts, glucose levels, and lipid profiles. A screening program for internal and external exposure was also implemented.

RESULTS:

One hundred fifty-five residents participated in the health evaluation. Significant decreases in average body mass index and blood pressure were observed from 2011 to 2012. Annual internal exposure levels did not exceeded 1 mSv in any participants. The levels of external exposure ranged from 1.3 to 4.3 mSv/y measured in the first test period but decreased to 0.8 to 3.6 mSv/y in the second test period.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that inhabiting nuclear contaminated areas is not always associated with short-term health deterioration and that radiation exposure can be controlled within safety limitations.

KEYWORDS:

health promotion; public health practice; radiation protection

PMID:
26349438
DOI:
10.1017/dmp.2015.102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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