Mortality of radiologists and pathologists in the Radiation Registry of Physicians

J Occup Med. 1986 Feb;28(2):91-9.


The overall and cause-specific mortality experience of male radiologists and a comparable group of medical specialists, pathologists, who were included in the Radiation Registry of Physicians, is presented. The study population consists of an early-entry cohort of physicians who were members of either the American College of Radiology or the College of American Pathologists as of Jan. 1, 1962, and a late-entry cohort of similar members who joined these societies between January 1962, and June 1972. The purpose of the study was to determine if occupational exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation resulted in excess mortality from all causes and specific causes, or decreased survival patterns for radiologists compared with pathologists over the 16-year period, 1962 to 1977. The data revealed that radiologists and pathologists were comparable regarding overall mortality experience for all entrants, the early-entry cohort, and the late-entry cohort. Further analyses revealed a gradient in mortality between the two specialties, with the largest differences in the earliest birth subcohorts for all three groups, and a significant excess in mortality among radiologists in those subcohorts of the late-entry cohort born before 1920. Such a gradient may indicate an exposure effect associated with time of first exposure or duration of exposure, but not associated with time of entry into a professional society. Nevertheless, overall age-specific and age-adjusted mortality rates among radiologists and pathologists were lower in the late-entry cohort compared with the early-entry cohort, thus indicating some effect of time of entry within each specialty.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Pathology*
  • Physicians
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Radiography*
  • Registries
  • Time Factors
  • United States