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The World in Medicine
November 13, 2002

Atomic Bomb Survivors

JAMA. 2002;288(18):2257. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2257

Researchers probing the effects of radiation exposure among Japanese atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki have discovered that even moderate doses of radiation are associated with an increased risk of benign and malignant nervous system tumors (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002;94:1555-1563).

Researchers at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan, reviewed medical records of more than 80 000 Japanese survivors of the attacks and identified benign and malignant tumors of the nervous system and the pituitary gland that were diagnosed in this group between 1958 and 1995. They found that survivors of the attacks had a 6% greater chance of developing a nervous system tumor over a lifetime.