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Radiation-associated circulatory disease mortality in a pooled analysis of 77,275 patients from the Massachusetts and Canadian tuberculosis fluoroscopy cohorts.

  • Author(s): Tran, Van;
  • Zablotska, Lydia B;
  • Brenner, Alina V;
  • Little, Mark P
  • et al.

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High-dose ionising radiation is associated with circulatory disease. Risks associated with lower-dose (<0.5 Gy) exposures remain unclear, with little information on risk modification by age at exposure, years since exposure or dose-rate. Tuberculosis patients in Canada and Massachusetts received multiple diagnostic x-ray fluoroscopic exposures, over a wide range of ages, many at doses <0.5 Gy. We evaluated risks of circulatory-disease mortality associated with <0.5 Gy radiation exposure in a pooled cohort of 63,707 patients in Canada and 13,568 patients in Massachusetts. Under 0.5 Gy there are increasing trends for all circulatory disease (n = 10,209; excess relative risk/Gy = 0.246; 95% CI 0.036, 0.469; p = 0.021) and for ischaemic heart disease (n = 6410; excess relative risk/Gy = 0.267; 95% CI 0.003, 0.552; p = 0.048). All circulatory-disease and ischaemic-heart-disease risk reduces with increasing time since exposure (p < 0.005). Over the entire dose range, there are negative mortality dose trends for all circulatory disease (p = 0.014) and ischaemic heart disease (p = 0.003), possibly due to competing causes of death over this dose interval.These results confirm and extend earlier findings and strengthen the evidence for circulatory-disease mortality radiation risk at doses <0.5 Gy. The limited information on well-known lifestyle/medical risk factors for circulatory disease implies that confounding of the dose trend cannot be entirely excluded.

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