Thyroid Cancer after Chornobyl: Increased Risk Persists Two Decades after Radioiodine Exposure

By Brown, Valerie J. | Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2011 | Go to article overview

Thyroid Cancer after Chornobyl: Increased Risk Persists Two Decades after Radioiodine Exposure


Brown, Valerie J., Environmental Health Perspectives


During the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear accident, the then-Soviet republic of Ukraine was hit hard with iodine-131 fallout. Since then, numerous studies have demonstrated a relationship between 1-131 exposure from Chornobyl and thyroid cancer risk. Much of the published research, however, has relied on grouped radiation dose estimates rather than individual estimates of radiation exposure. Now a new study using measurement-based individual dose estimates has shown the risk of developing thyroid cancer after 1-131 exposure persists two decades later [EHP 119(7):933-939; Brenner et al.].

The U.S. and Ukrainian authors studied 12,514 individuals who in 1986 were under 18 years of age and living in one of three Ukrainian oblasts (states) contaminated wich 1-131 fallout from Chornobyl. The individuals' 1-131 exposure from the Chornobyl accident had been estimated using individual radioactivity measurements taken within two months of the accident, interview data, and ecological models of the fallout pattern. The study participants also were screened for thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases a total of four times between 1998 and 2007. The current study did not include people who had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer during the first screening examination (1998-2000).

Sixty-five people in the cohort were diagnosed with histopatho-logically confirmed thyroid cancer after the first screening examination. …

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