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Preliminary Communication
December 21, 1964

The Effect of Occupational Exposure to Radiation on the Mortality of Physicians

JAMA. 1964;190(12):1046-1048. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070250028007

Does occupational exposure to x-rays on the part of radiologists shorten their lives? It has long been known that sublethal acute or chronic exposure of laboratory animals to ionizing radiation will do so. On the basis of observed average age at death, a life-shortening effect in radiologists has been postulated.

This paper will summarize some observations designed to answer this question more definitely. A much more complete analysis of the data will appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology (formerly the American Journal of Hygiene) for January, 1965.

Three medical specialty societies were chosen on the basis of amount of presumed average exposure of their members to x-rays in the course of their professional activities. Other criteria in selection of societies were size of the organization, the duration of its existence, and the availablity of needed records. The societies chosen, in order of presumed diminishing exposure were: the Radiological Society

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