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Risk analysis of leukaemia incidence among people living along the Techa River: a nested case-control study

E Ostroumova, B Gagniere, D Laurier, N Gudkova, L Krestinina, P Verger, P Hubert, D Bard, A Akleyev, M Tirmarche and M Kossenko
J. Radiol. Prot. 26 (2006) 17-32


Large quantities of radioactive materials released over time from the Mayak nuclear weapons facility caused significant internal and external exposure for people living along the banks of the Techa River (Southern Urals, Russia). We conducted a nested case-control study in the Extended Techa River Cohort to determine whether the risk of leukaemia incidence increased with protracted exposure to ionising radiation or with other non-radiation risk factors. The study included 83 cases identified over 47 years of follow-up and 415 controls matched for sex, age at diagnosis, age (within a 5 year age group), and date of initial residence in the riverside area. External and internal doses have been calculated using the Techa River Dosimetry System 1996 (TRDS96). Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios per Gray
(OR/Gy) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). After excluding cases of chronic lymphoid leukaemia, the OR/Gy of total, external, and internal doses were 4.6 (95% CI: 1.7–12.3), 7.2 (95%CI: 1.7–30.0) and 5.4 (95%CI: 1.1–27.2), respectively. A history of solid tumour, either malignant or benign, before the leukaemia diagnosis was associated with a 2.5-fold increase in the leukaemia risk (95% CI: 1.1–5.9). Even though the analysis of confounders was less useful than expected because of missing data, multivariate analyses that took the exposure dose into account confirmed the association between leukaemia incidence and tumour history.
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