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April 20, 1984

Cancer Among Nuclear Test Participants-Reply

Author Affiliations

Chronic Diseases Division Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1984;251(15):1951. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340390015008

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In Reply.—  We accept Dr Grossman's criticism that the fate of the 145 participants could markedly affect the outcome of the study but do not accept his implication that, because they could not be traced, they have all died. Some of the untraced 145 participants almost certainly have died and some of these of cancer, but how many?Of the 145, we knew the Social Security Account Number (SSAN) for 63. Evidence of death was not found after these were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Administration, and Social Security Death Registry. Those without an SSAN were checked through the Veterans Administration, National Personnel Records Center, Social Security Administration, and Federal Bureau of Investigation for either an SSAN or evidence of death. No other sources of data were available unless we had each name reviewed by each state for each of 22 years. Even if this had been done,