Uncontrolled hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can to lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other serious health problems.
Earlier studies linked exposure to high doses of radiation to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and death from those diseases. This study is the first to find an increased risk of hypertension to low doses of ionizing radiation among a large group of workers who were chronically exposed over many years.
Study - Workers - Enterprise - Russia - Mayak
The study included more than 22,000 workers at the first large-scale nuclear enterprise in Russia known as the Mayak Production Association. The workers were hired between 1948 and 1982, with an average length of time on the job of 18 years. Half had worked there for more than 10 years. All of the workers had comprehensive health check-ups and screening tests at least once a year with advanced evaluations every five years.
The researchers evaluated the workers' health records up to 2013. More than 8,400 workers (38 percent of the group) were diagnosed with hypertension, as defined in this study as a systolic blood pressure reading of ?140 mm Hg, and a diastolic reading ? 90 mm Hg. Hypertension incidence was found to be significantly associated with the cumulative dose.
Perspective - Hypertension - Incidence - Workers - Study
To put it in perspective, the hypertension incidence among the workers in the study was higher than that among Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb at the end of World War II, but lower than the risk estimated for clean-up workers following the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
The differences may be explained by variations in exposure among the three groups, according to the researchers. Following the atomic bombing, the Japanese experienced a single, high-dose exposure of radiation, the Chernobyl workers were exposed to radiation for a short time period (days...
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