Incidence of neoplasms in ages 0-19 y in parts of Sweden with high 137Cs fallout after the Chernobyl accident

Health Phys. 1996 Dec;71(6):947-50. doi: 10.1097/00004032-199612000-00012.


The incidence of neoplasms in childhood and adolescence in northern and central Sweden before and after the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident was investigated in an ecologic study, 1978 to 1992. The study included all parishes in the six most contaminated counties classified after aerial mapping of ground radiation from 137Cs and investigated 746 cases of neoplasms in ages 0-19 y, diagnosed in the six counties. Incidence and relative risks of neoplasms were compared in areas with high, intermediate, and low contamination after versus before the Chernobyl accident in 1986. A continuous increase of brain tumor incidence in the ages 0-19 y during the period 1978-92 without clear relationship to the Chernobyl fallout was discovered. No clear relationship between the incidence of brain tumor and the exposure to varying levels of radiation from 137Cs was apparent. A somewhat decreased relative risk of acute lymphatic leukemia appeared in areas with increased exposure. Other neoplasms showed no changes in incidence over time or with regard to exposure. Until now, there is no indication that the Chernobyl accident has affected the incidence of childhood and adolescence neoplasms in Sweden, but it is still too early for any final conclusion about the effect of this event.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Cesium Radioisotopes*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Nuclear Reactors
  • Power Plants
  • Radioactive Fallout*
  • Radioactive Hazard Release*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Ukraine


  • Cesium Radioisotopes
  • Radioactive Fallout