Introduction The study was conducted to determine whether the leukaemia incidence rate in Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe clean-up workers depended on the year of the emergency work and the period after irradiation.
Methods All cases collected were verified. The analysis was performed for workers in 1986 and 1987 by periods of observation of 1987–1991 and 1992–1996.
Results Leukaemia RR in workers of 1986 vs workers of 1987 in 1987–1991 was 2.32 (95% CI 1.19 to 4.70). No significant differences were identified in 1992–1996. The results of these studies were the beginning of the project “Leukaemia” in collaboration with the Cancer Institute of the U.S. The project used modern methods for epidemiological studies and created a database of case and controls. Further analysis is based on 71 cases of histologically confirmed leukaemia diagnosed in 1986–2000 and 501 residence-matched controls selected from the same cohort Study subjects or their proxies were interviewed about their clean-up activities and other relevant factors. The excess RR (ERR) of total leukaemia was 3.44 per Gy (95% CI 0.47 to 9.78, p<0.01]. We found a similar dose-response relationship for chronic and non-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia [ERR=4.09 per Gy (95% CI <0 to 14.41) and 2.73 per Gy (95% CI <0 to 13.50), respectively]. We found a linear dose-response relationship between Chernobyl-related radiation exposure among cleanup workers and their risk of leukaemia.
Conclusion The project plans to extend the case-control study to ascertain cases for another 6 years (2001–2006).
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