A review of the results from the German Wismut uranium miners cohort

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2015 Apr;164(1-2):147-53. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncu281. Epub 2014 Sep 28.


The Wismut cohort is currently the largest single study on the health risks associated with occupational exposures to ionising radiation and dust accrued during activities related to uranium mining. The cohort has ∼59 000 male workers, first employed between 1946 and 1989, at the Wismut Company in Germany. The main effect is a statistically significant increase in mortality from lung cancer with both increasing cumulative radon exposure and silica dust exposure. Risks for cancers of the extrathoracic airways, all extra-pulmonary cancers and cardiovascular diseases associated with radiation exposures have been evaluated. Cohort mortality rates for some other cancer sites, stomach and liver, are statistically significantly increased in relation to the general population, but not statistically significantly related to occupational exposures. No associations between leukaemia mortality and occupational doses of ionising radiation were found.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mining / statistics & numerical data*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Radiation Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radon / analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Uranium / analysis*
  • Young Adult


  • Uranium
  • Radon