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Missing Doses in the Life Span Study of Japanese Atomic Bomb Survivors

08 Mar 2013

The Life Span Study of atomic bomb survivors is an important source of risk estimates used to inform radiation protection and compensation. Interviews with survivors in the 1950s and 1960s provided information needed to estimate radiation doses for survivors proximal to ground zero. Because of a lack of interview or the complexity of shielding, doses are missing for 7,058 of the 68,119 proximal survivors. Recent analyses excluded people with missing doses, and despite the protracted collection of interview information necessary to estimate some survivors' doses, defined start of follow-up as October 1, 1950, for everyone. We describe the prevalence of missing doses and its association with mortality, distance from hypocenter, city, age, and sex. Missing doses were more common among Nagasaki residents than among Hiroshima residents (prevalence ratio = 2.05; 95% confidence interval: 1.96, 2.14), among people who were closer to ground zero than among those who were far from it, among people who were younger at enrollment than among those who were older, and among males than among females (prevalence ratio = 1.22; 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 1.28). Missing dose was associated with all-cancer and leukemia mortality, particularly during the first years of follow-up (all-cancer rate ratio = 2.16, 95% confidence interval: 1.51, 3.08; and leukemia rate ratio = 4.28, 95% confidence interval: 1.72, 10.67). Accounting for missing dose and late entry should reduce bias in estimated dose-mortality associations.

8 March 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in American Journal of Epidemiology