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Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Nov;154(11):1605-7.

Long-term mental health effects of the Chernobyl disaster: an epidemiologic survey in two former Soviet regions.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study assessed the long-term mental health effects of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

METHOD:

Two population samples (N = 3,044), one from the Gomel region, close to the accident site, and one from Tver, 500 miles away, were studied 6 1/2 years after the event with the use of a variety of self-report questionnaires and a standardized psychiatric interview.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of psychological distress and DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders was exceptionally high in both regions. Scores on the self-report scales were consistently higher in the exposed region; however, a higher risk of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders could be demonstrated only among women with children under 18 years of age in the exposed region.

CONCLUSIONS:

A substantial long-term mental health effect of the Chernobyl incident was demonstrated, mainly at a subclinical level.

PMID:
9356574
DOI:
10.1176/ajp.154.11.1605
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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