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Study links low dose radiation and Down's syndrome

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6987.1088b (Published 29 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1088

A new study has provided evidence of a link between fallout from the testing of nuclear weapons and Down's syndrome. It found that women in the Fylde area of Lancashire had higher rates of births of children with Down's syndrome during periods when fallout was particularly heavy. The report also noted that a fire at the nearby Windscale (now Sellafield) nuclear power station in 1957 was followed by a surge in cases of Down's syndrome.

The research is by Dr John Bound, a former paediatrician at the Victoria Hospital, Blackpool; Brian Francis, of the Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster; and Dr Peter Harvey, pathologist at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. The results appear in the latest issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1995;49:164-70).

The authors of the report analysed 167 cases of Down's syndrome among 12015 total …

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