Noncancer disease incidence in atomic bomb survivors, 1958-1998

Radiat Res. 2004 Jun;161(6):622-32. doi: 10.1667/rr3183.


We examined the relationships between the incidence of noncancer diseases and atomic bomb radiation dose using the longitudinal data for about 10,000 Adult Health Study (AHS) participants during 1958-1998. The current report updates the analysis we presented in 1993 with 12 additional years of follow-up. In addition to the statistically significant positive linear dose-response relationships detected previously for the incidence of thyroid disease (P < 0.0001), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (P = 0.001), and uterine myoma (P < 0.00001), we also found a significant positive dose response for cataract (P = 0.026), a negative linear dose-response relationship for glaucoma (P = 0.025), and significant quadratic dose-response relationships for hypertension (P = 0.028) and for myocardial infarction among survivors exposed at less than 40 years of age (P = 0.049). Significant radiation effects for calculus of the kidney and ureter were evident for men but not for women (test of heterogeneity by sex: P = 0.007). Accounting for smoking and drinking did not alter the results. Radiation effects for cataract, glaucoma, hypertension, and calculus of the kidney and ureter in men are new findings. These results attest to the need for continued follow-up of the aging A-bomb survivors to fully elucidate the effects of radiation exposure on the occurrence of noncancer diseases.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Body Burden
  • Cataract / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology
  • Nuclear Warfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Thyroid Diseases / epidemiology