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Thyroid cancer incidence among adolescents and adults in the Bryansk region of Russia following the Chernobyl accident

Health Phys / 84(1) : 46-60


Thyroid cancer incidence in the Bryansk region, the most contaminated area of Russia after the Chernobyl accident, is analyzed for the residents aged 15-69 y at the time of the accident (about 1 million persons according to the 1989 census) for the period from 1986 to 1998. Sex and age standardized incidence rates are presented and compared to the whole Russian population rates (SIR analysis). Also, a geographical correlation analysis is performed for incidence rates and mean thyroid doses at the district level, which provides a basis for preliminary estimation of radiation associated risks for the period 1991-1998 (to allow for a potential five year latent period). Thyroid doses were estimated based on the State official document "Methodology for reconstruction of dose from iodine radioisotopes in residents of the Russian Federation exposed to radioactive contamination as a result of the Chernobyl accident in 1986" (2000). Altogether, 1,051 thyroid cancer cases were detected in the Bryansk oncological dispensary from 1986 to 1998 and 769 from 1991 to 1998. Histological confirmation was available for 87% and 95% of these cases, respectively. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were 1.27 (95% CI = 0.92, 1.73) for the period 1986-1990 and 1.45 (95% CI = 1.20, 1.73) for the period 1991-1998 for males and 1.94 (95% CI = 1.70, 2.20) and 1.96 (95% CI = 1.82, 2.1) for females. The excess relative risk per 1 Gy (using external control) estimate for the period 1991-1998 was -0.4 (95% CI = -3.5, 2.7), -1.3 (95% CI = -2.8, 0.1) for males and females, respectively, and -0.6 (95% CI = -2.1, 0.8) for both sexes. Using internal controls, the excess relative risk (ERR(1Gy)) per unit dose of 1 Gy was found to be 0.7 with 95% CI (-2.3, 5.2) for males, -0.9 with 95% CI (-2.4, 0.8) for females and 0.0 with 95% CI (-1.4, 1.7) for males and females together. These results are discussed in the light of the quality of information available on thyroid cancer cases and screening campaigns carried out after the Chernobyl accident.
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