Incidence of and mortality from cardiovascular diseases have been studied in a cohort of 12,210 workers first employed at one of the main plants of the Mayak nuclear facility during 1948-1958 and followed up to 31 December 2000. Information on external gamma-ray doses is available for virtually all of these workers (99.9%); the mean total gamma-ray dose (+/-SD) was 0.91 +/- 0.95 Gy (99% percentile 3.9 Gy) for men and 0.65 +/- 0.75 Gy (99% percentile 2.99 Gy) for women. In contrast, plutonium body burden was measured for only 30.0% of workers; among those monitored, the mean cumulative liver dose from plutonium alpha exposure (+/- SD) was 0.40 +/- 1.15 Gy (99% percentile 5.88 Gy) for men and 0.81 +/- 4.60 Gy (99% percentile 15.95 Gy) for women. A total of 3751 cases of ischemic heart disease (IHD), including 683 cases of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and 1495 IHD deaths, including 338 AMI deaths, were identified in the study cohort during the follow-up period. Having adjusted for non-radiation factors, there were statistically significant increasing trends with both total external gamma-ray dose and internal liver dose in IHD incidence. The trend with internal dose was weaker and was not statistically significant after adjusting for external dose, whereas the external dose trend was little changed after adjusting for internal dose. The trend with external dose in IHD mortality was not statistically significantly greater than zero but was consistent with the corresponding trend in IHD incidence. The estimated trend in IHD mortality with internal dose was lower and was not statistically significant once adjustment was made for external dose. There was a statistically significantly increasing trend in AMI incidence but not AMI incidence with external dose. The risk estimates for IHD in relation to external radiation are generally compatible with those from other large occupational studies and the Japanese A-bomb survivors.
This Mayak worker-based study focuses on evaluating possible associations between malignant liver cancers and chronic alpha irradiation, chronic gamma irradiation, and non-radiation risk factors (alcohol consumption, smoking, viral hepatitis, chemical exposure, and chronic digestive diseases). This is the first multivariate study related to liver cancer among Mayak workers. The study was performed using the nested, case-control approach and includes 44 cases of malignant liver tumors diagnosed from 1972 to 1999, and 111 matched controls. Adjusted odds ratio (OR(ad)) was evaluated relative to a group of workers with alpha radiation doses to liver (D(alpha)) 2.0 Gy (corresponding (239)Pu body burden estimates >20.4 kBq) were significantly associated (p 2.0-5.0 Gy and was 62.5 (7.4, 500) for a group with D(alpha) > 5.0-16.9 Gy. The attributable risk (AR) was calculated as 82%. For HCC, O(Rad) was estimated as 8.4 (0.8, 85.3; p 2.0-9.3 Gy. For the indicated group, the AR was 14%. An association with high external gamma-ray doses (D(gamma)) to the total body was revealed for both HCC and for combined liver cancers when dose was treated as a continuous variable. However, we find no evidence that chronic low doses of gamma rays are associated with liver cancer occurrence. Cholangiocarcinoma (CHC) was not associated with either alpha- or gamma-ray exposure. As expected, an association between alcohol abuse and HCC was inferred [O(Rad) = 3.3 (1.2, 9); AR = 41%] but not for CHC or HAS.