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BMJ. 1997 Jan 11;314(7074):101-6.

Case-control study of leukaemia among young people near La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant: the environmental hypothesis revisited.

Author information

1
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Biostatistics, Besancon, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between childhood leukaemia and established risk factors or other factors related to La Hague nuclear waste reprocessing plant.

DESIGN:

Case-control study.

SETTING:

Area within a 35 km radius of La Hague, Normandy, France.

SUBJECTS:

Twenty seven cases of leukaemia diagnosed during the period 1978-93 in people aged under 25 years and 192 controls matched for sex, age, place of birth, and residence at time of diagnosis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Antenatal and postnatal exposure to x rays and viral infections, occupational exposure of parents (particularly ionising radiation), living conditions, lifestyle of parents and children.

RESULTS:

Increased trends were found for use of local beaches by mothers and children (P < or = 0.01); relative risks 2.87 (95% confidence intervals 1.05 to 8.72) and 4.49 (1.52 to 15.23) when categories were aggregated in two levels (more or less than once a month). Consumption of local fish and shellfish also showed an increased trend (P 0.01); relative risk 2.66 (0.91 to 9.51) when categories were grouped in two levels (more or less than once a week). A relative risk of 1.18 a year (1.03 to 1.42) was observed for length of residence in a granite-built house or in a granitic area. No association was shown with occupational radiation exposure in parents.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is some convincing evidence in childhood leukaemia of a causal role for environmental radiation exposure from recreational activities on beaches. New methods for identifying the environmental pathways, focusing on marine ecosystems, are warranted.

PMID:
9006467
PMCID:
PMC2125632
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.314.7074.101
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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