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June 26, 1996

Health Effects in Survivors of the Chernobyl Disaster

Author Affiliations

Ben Gurion University—Soroka Medical Center Beer-Sheba, Israel
Bar Ilan University Ramat Gan, Israel

JAMA. 1996;275(24):1881. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530480023025

To the Editor.  —We read with great interest the article by Dr Weinberg and colleagues1 and agree with their emphasis that people exposed to radiation from nuclear accidents should undergo thorough examinations by physicians, with particular attention given to the thyroid in children. We suggest attention to the following additional findings.Researchers at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev-Soroka Medical Center have carried out biomedical examinations of more than 2000 adults and children who immigrated to Israel from Belarus, Ukraine, and southern Russia near Chernobyl. Psychosocial interviews were conducted with an additional 700 people, of whom half were controls matched by age, sex, and year of immigration who had come from areas of the former Soviet Union that were unexposed to Chernobyl radiocontamination. The Bar Ilan University group has examined groups of salvage workers ("liquidators") for potential radiation effects on the male reproductive system. Some observations include the