First analysis of cancer incidence and occupational radiation exposure based on the National Dose Registry of Canada

Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Feb 15;153(4):309-18. doi: 10.1093/aje/153.4.309.


A cohort study was conducted to investigate the relation between cancer incidence and occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. Records containing dose information from 1951 to 1988 for 191,333 persons were extracted from the National Dose Registry of Canada. The records were linked to the Canadian Cancer Data Base, with incidence data from 1969 to 1988. Standardized incidence ratios were calculated using Canadian cancer incidence rates stratified by age, sex, and calendar year. Excess relative risks were obtained from internally based dose-response analyses. The following significant results were found for males and females combined: a deficit in the standardized incidence ratio for all cancers combined; elevated standardized incidence ratios for thyroid cancer and melanoma; and elevated excess relative risks for rectum, leukemia, lung, all cancers combined, all except lung, and all except leukemia. For males, cancers of the colon, pancreas, and testis also showed significantly elevated excess relative risks. The specific cancer types listed above have been implicated in previous studies on occupational exposure to ionizing radiation, except for testis, colon, and melanoma, while the findings on thyroid cancer from previous studies are inconclusive. The thyroid standardized incidence ratios in this study are highly significant, but further investigation is needed to assess the possibility of association with occupational radiation exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Radiometry
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology