Radiation dose and cataract surgery incidence in atomic bomb survivors, 1986-2005.

Department of Clinical Studies, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Nagasaki, Japan
Radiology (Impact Factor: 6.21). 08/2012; 265(1):167-74. DOI: 10.1148/radiol.12111947
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Purpose: To examine the incidence of clinically important cataracts in relation to lens radiation doses between 0 and approximately 3 Gy to address risks at relatively low brief doses. Materials and Methods: Informed consent was obtained, and human subjects procedures were approved by the ethical committee at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation. Cataract surgery incidence was documented for 6066 atomic bomb survivors during 1986-2005. Sixteen risk factors for cataract, such as smoking, hypertension, and corticosteroid use, were not confounders of the radiation effect on the basis of Cox regression analysis. Radiation dose-response analyses were performed for cataract surgery incidence by using Poisson regression analysis, adjusting for demographic variables and diabetes mellitus, and results were expressed as the excess relative risk (ERR) and the excess absolute risk (EAR) (ie, measures of how much radiation multiplies [ERR] or adds to [EAR] the risk in the unexposed group). Results: Of 6066 atomic bomb survivors, 1028 underwent a first cataract surgery during 1986-2005. The estimated threshold dose was 0.50 Gy (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.10 Gy, 0.95 Gy) for the ERR model and 0.45 Gy (95% CI: 0.10 Gy, 1.05 Gy) for the EAR model. A linear-quadratic test for upward curvature did not show a significant quadratic effect for either the ERR or EAR model. The linear ERR model for a 70-year-old individual, exposed at age 20 years, showed a 0.32 (95% CI: 0.17, 0.52) excess risk at 1 Gy. The ERR was highest for those who were young at exposure. Conclusion: These data indicate a radiation effect for vision-impairing cataracts at doses less than 1 Gy. The evidence suggests that dose standards for protection of the eye from brief radiation exposures should be 0.5 Gy or less. © RSNA, 2012 Supplemental material:

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