To investigate childhood cardiac arrhythmia and chronic exposure to caesium-137 (137Cs) resulting from the Chernobyl accident.
Prospective cross-sectional study using exposed/unexposed design conducted in the Bryansk region from May 2009 to May 2013 on children selected on the basis of 137Cs soil deposition: control territories ([137Cs]555?kBq per square metre, where children were considered as exposed).
Russian territories affected by the Chernobyl fallout (Bryansk region).
This cross-sectional study included 18 152 children aged 2-18 years and living in the Bryansk region (Russia).
All children received three medical examinations (ECG, echocardiography and 137Cs whole-body activity measurement) and some of them were given with a 24-hour Holter monitoring and blood tests.
Cardiac arrhythmia was diagnosed in 1172 children living in contaminated territories and 1354 children living in control territories. The crude prevalence estimated to 13.3% in contaminated territories was significantly lower than in control territories with 15.2% over the period 2009-2013 (P