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JAMA. 1983 Aug 5;250(5):620-4.

Mortality and cancer frequency among military nuclear test (Smoky) participants, 1957 through 1979.


Follow-up of health status has been completed through 1979 for 3,072 (95.5%) of 3,217 nuclear test participants on military maneuvers during the 1957 nuclear test "Smoky." In these participants, 112 cases of cancer were diagnosed, compared with 117.5 cases expected. During the same follow-up period (1957 through 1979), 64 persons died of cancer, compared with an expected 64.3. Statistically significantly increased frequency of occurrence and mortality was found only for leukemia. The amount of cumulative gamma radiation exposure for 1957 ranged from 0 to 10,397 mrem as measured by individual personnel film badges. Although uncertainty remains about the exact amount of radiation exposure, the lack of a significant increase after 22 years in either the incidence of or the mortality from any other cancer and the apparent lack of a dose effect by unit lead to the consideration that the leukemia findings may be attributable either to chance, to factors other than radiation, or to some combination of risk factors possibly including radiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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