Radiation-related risks of non-cancer outcomes in the atomic bomb survivors

Ann ICRP. 2016 Jun;45(1 Suppl):253-61. doi: 10.1177/0146645316629318. Epub 2016 Mar 8.


Risks of non-cancer outcomes after exposure to atomic bomb (A-bomb) radiation have been evaluated among the Life Span Study (LSS) cohort and its subcohort, the Adult Health Study (AHS). Information regarding non-cancer outcomes in the LSS is obtained from death certificates. In the AHS, members undergo clinical examinations biennially to determine their health status. Many AHS studies have been limited to participants attending the clinic over a limited period, and therefore have varying degrees of inferential utility; as such, care is required for comparison with the LSS results. Disease structure of non-cancer diseases in Japan has changed over the long follow-up period since the end of World War II. The health status of the A-bomb survivors may be associated with the hardships of living in a devastated city and impoverished country following the prolonged war effort, in addition to the direct effects of radiation exposure. Radiation-related risk of cardiovascular disease may have increased due to radiation-related increased risk of hypertension and other secondary associations, and the risk of atherosclerotic disorders has also been reported recently. These results should be interpreted with caution because of changes in disease definitions over the follow-up period. The radiation-related risk of non-cancer respiratory diseases also appears to have increased over the follow-up period, but the shapes of the dose-response curves have shown little consistency.

Keywords: Atomic bomb survivors; Heart disease; Japanese population; Stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Weapons*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Exposure*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult