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Risk analysis of cancerous and non-cancerous diseases in cohorts of uranium workers

​Ségolène Bouet has defended her thesis on 21st September 2018 in Saclay, France.

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/PRP-HOM/SRBE/LEPID

Authors > BOUET Ségolène

Publication Date > 21/09/2018

Summary

Nowadays, the assessment of the risks associated with the incorporation of radionuclides and the resulting development of radiological protection standards are mainly based on the results of the epidemiological monitoring of populations exposed to external ionizing radiation. The analogies and extrapolations used in this process are surrounded by uncertainties. In order to be able to evaluate the validity of the assumptions adopted in this context by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), it is necessary to conduct new epidemiological studies in populations exposed to internal emitters. This is particularly the case for uranium exposures, whose potential health effects remain poorly characterized. Moreover, while the carcinogenic effects of ionizing radiation are established and increasingly well characterized, the hypothesis of an effect of low doses of ionizing radiation on the development of diseases of the circulatory system has been suggested recently, and requires to be evaluated thoroughly.The aim of this PhD thesis project is to improve the knowledge of the health effects of chronic internal exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation, particularly due to internal contamination by uranium, in support of the evaluation and if necessary to the consolidation of international radiation protection standards.The PhD thesis project includes three axes:- Analysis of mortality in a new cohort of 1,300 workers employed by uranium-milling companies, by comparison with the mortality of general French population by computing standardized mortality ratios.- Analysis of the association between dose (internal and external) and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases in a cohort of 4,000 uranium workers: classical statistical analysis (frequentist) included detailed exploration of the impact of potential confounding factors rarely available in other cohorts of nuclear workers (e.g.: obesity, smoking, blood pressure)- Development of a Bayesian hierarchical approach allowing to account for uncertainties induced by the estimation of internal dose from radiotoxicological measurement that are strongly left-censored (i.e., lower than a threshold) in radiation-induced risk estimates, based on this dose.


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