Reproductive health of male radiographers

Saudi Med J. 2001 Feb;22(2):150-2.


Objective: To compare certain reproductive health problems reported in 2 groups of males, one of which was exposed to x-ray radiation (radiographers) and the other group that was not exposed to x-ray radiation. The reproductive health problems were miscarriage, congenital anomalies, still births and infertility.

Methods: Two groups of men were selected (90 in each group). The first group consisted of radiographers and the other groups consisted of men not exposed to x-ray radiation. The 2 groups were matched for age and source. Relative risk, attributable risk percentage and level of significance were calculated.

Results: Incidence rate of reproductive health problems was increasing with the increase in duration of exposure to x-ray radiation ranging between 17% (for those exposed for 1-5 years) to 91% (for those exposed for more than 15 years). There were significant associations between exposure to radiation and miscarriage (relative risk = 1.67, attributable risk percentage = 40%), congenital anomalies (relative risk = 10, attributable risk percentage = 90%), still birth (relative risk = 7, attributable risk percentage = 86%), and infertility (relative risk = 4.5, attributable risk = 78%).

Conclusion: The incidence rates of reproductive health problems reported by male radiographers were significantly higher than that reported by the non exposed group and higher than the incidence rates reported in community-based studies in Jordan. The incidence rates of fetal death (miscarriage and stillbirth together) and infertility reported by our radiographers were higher than had been reported by the British radiographers. An immediate plan of action is needed to protect our radiographers. Further studies are needed in this field taking into account all extraneous variables that may affect the reproductive health of radiographers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Paternal Exposure*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome* / epidemiology*
  • Radiography*