Abstract: This study was aimed to examine the association between the effective radiation dose of diagnostic radiation workers in Korea and their risk for cancer. A total of 36,394 diagnostic radiation workers (159,189 person-years) were included in this study; the effective dose and cancer incidence were analyzed between the period 1996 and 2002. Median (range) follow-up time was 5.5 (0.04–7) years in males and 3.75 (0.04–7) years in females. Cancer risk related to the average annual effective dose and exposure to more than 5 mSv of annual radiation dose were calculated by the Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for occupation and age at the last follow-up. The standardized incidence ratio of cancer in radiation workers showed strong healthy worker effects in both male and female workers. The relative risk of all cancers from exposure of the average annual effective dose in the highest quartile (upper 75% or more of radiation dose) was 2.14 in male workers (95% CI: 1.48–3.10, p-trend: <0.0001) and 4.43 in female workers (95% CI: 2.17–9.04, p-trend: <0.0001), compared to those in the lower three quartiles of radiation exposure dose (less than upper 75% of radiation dose). Cancer risks of the brain (HR: 17.38, 95% CI: 1.05–287.8, p-trend: 0.04) and thyroid (HR: 3.88, 95% CI: 1.09–13.75, p-trend: 0.01) in female workers were significantly higher in the highest quartile group of radiation exposure compared to those in the lower three quartiles, and the risk of colon and rectum cancers in male workers showed a significantly increasing trend according to the increase of the average annual radiation dose (HR: 2.37, 95% CI: 0.99–5.67, p-trend: 0.02). The relative risk of leukemia in male workers and that of brain cancer in female workers were significantly higher in the group of people who had been exposed to more than 5 mSv/year than those exposed to less than 5 mSv/year (HR: 11.75, 95% CI: 1.08–128.20; HR: 63.11, 95% CI: 3.70–1,075.00, respectively). Although the present study involved a relatively young population and a short follow-up time, statistically significant increased risks of some cancers in radiation workers were found, which warrants a longer follow-up study and more intensive protective measures in this population.
Keywords: cancer risk; diagnostic radiation workers; effective dose
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Choi, K.-H.; Ha, M.; Lee, W.J.; Hwang, S.-S.; Jeong, M.; Jin, Y.-W.; Kim, H.J.; Lee, K.-Y.; Lee, J.-E.; Kang, J.-W.; Kim, H. Cancer Risk in Diagnostic Radiation Workers in Korea from 1996–2002. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 314-327.
Choi K-H, Ha M, Lee WJ, Hwang S-S, Jeong M, Jin Y-W, Kim HJ, Lee K-Y, Lee J-E, Kang J-W, Kim H. Cancer Risk in Diagnostic Radiation Workers in Korea from 1996–2002. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(1):314-327.
Choi, Kyung-Hwa; Ha, Mina; Lee, Won J.; Hwang, Seung-Sik; Jeong, Meeseon; Jin, Young-Woo; Kim, Hyeog J.; Lee, Kwang-Yong; Lee, Jung-Eun; Kang, Jong-Won; Kim, Heon. 2013. "Cancer Risk in Diagnostic Radiation Workers in Korea from 1996–2002." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 1: 314-327.