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Dose-dependent relationship found between low-dose ionizing radiation exposure, cancer risk

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 (Last Updated: 02/09/2011)

TUESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Acute myocardial infarction patients exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation for cardiac imaging or therapeutic procedures may be at an increased risk for developing cancer, according to research published online Feb. 7 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Mark J. Eisenberg, M.D., M.P.H., of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, and colleagues analyzed data on exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation and cancer in 82,861 patients with no history of cancer who had experienced an acute myocardial infarction. Their objective was to examine whether such radiation exposure increases the risk of cancer in this patient population.

The researchers found that 77 percent of the patients had undergone at least one cardiac imaging or therapeutic procedure involving low-dose ionizing radiation within the first year after their cardiac event. Within the mean five-year follow-up period, 12,020 incident cancers were documented. The incidence was higher in patients who had received greater exposure, with a 3 percent increase in the risk of cancer with every 10 mSv of low-dose ionizing radiation.

"Exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation from cardiac imaging and therapeutic procedures after acute myocardial infarction is associated with an increased risk of cancer," the authors write.

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Specialties Radiology
Hematology & Oncology
Family Practice
Internal Medicine

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