Increased cardiovascular disease risk after exposure to low dose radiationBMJ 2023; 380 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-074589 (Published 08 March 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:e074589
- Anssi Auvinen, professor of epidemiology 12
- 1Tampere University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Unit of Health Sciences,FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
- 2Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), Environmental Radiation Surveillance, Vantaa, Finland
- Correspondence to: A Auvinen
In a linked BMJ article (doi:10.1136/bmj-2022-072924),1 Little and colleagues report the results of a large meta-analysis of 93 studies evaluating associations between a range of cardiovascular diseases and exposure to radiation in various settings (mostly radiotherapy and occupational exposures, but also diagnostic radiology and environmental exposures). The authors found robust evidence for a dose dependent increase in cardiovascular risks across a broad range of radiation doses. Key findings included a higher relative risk per dose unit at lower dose ranges (<0.1 Gy), and also for lower dose rates (protracted exposures over hours to years). The studies included in the meta-analysis were published mainly during the past decade. This new meta-analysis strengthens the evidence linking low dose radiation to risk of circulatory diseases and these risks should now be carefully considered in protection against radiation in medicine and elsewhere.
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