A Russian study has shown that among workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation, hypertension incidence is associated with cumulative liver-absorbed dose from external γ-rays.
Tamara Azizova, M.D., Ph.D., from the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute in Ozyorsk, Russia, and colleagues examined the risk for hypertension incidence in a cohort of workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation.
The study, just published online in Hypertension included a total of 22,377 Russian Mayak nuclear enterprise workers who were employed in 1948 to 1982 and followed up through Dec. 31, 2017. All workers were occupationally exposed to external γ-rays, and 76.03 percent were also exposed to α-particles from internally deposited plutonium.
The researchers found that 8,425 hypertension cases (38 percent of workers) were verified in the cohort by the end of the follow-up period. There was a significant linear association for hypertension incidence with cumulative liver-absorbed dose from external γ-rays (excess relative risk/Gy, 0.14; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.09 to 0.20). There was no significant correlation of hypertension incidence with cumulative liver-absorbed dose from internal α-particles (excess relative risk/Gy, −0.01; 95 percent confidence interval, unavailable to 0.05).
“Findings of this study might be of importance for radiological protection perspective contributing to deep understanding of the concept of human health detriment because of effects from exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation,” the authors wrote.
REFERENCE: Azizova et al: Hypertension Incidence Risk in a Cohort of Russian Workers Exposed to Radiation at the Mayak Production Association Over Prolonged Periods; https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.11719