Chronic diseases and mortality among immigrants to Israel from areas contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster: a follow-up study

Danna A. Slusky, Julie Cwikel, Michael R. Quastel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine six chronic diseases and all-cause mortality among immigrants to Israel from areas contaminated by the Chernobyl accident. Methods: The medical data were obtained from the two largest HMOs in Israel. In the assessment of chronic diseases, individuals were divided into three groups: less exposed (n = 480), more exposed (n = 359), and liquidators (n = 45) and in the mortality analysis, into two groups: less exposed (n = 792) and more exposed (n = 590). Results: Compared to the less exposed, adults from the more exposed group had increased odds of respiratory disorders (OR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.21, 4.54) and elevated odds, with borderline significance, of ischemic heart disease (OR = 2.01, 95% CI 0.97, 4.20). In addition, the liquidators had increased odds of hypertension compared to the less exposed (OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.24, 5.64). The Cox proportional-hazards model indicated no difference in the ratio of all-cause mortality between the exposed groups during the follow up period. Conclusions: Our study, conducted approximately two decades after the accident, suggests that exposure to radionuclides may be associated with increased odds of respiratory disorders and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • Cesium-137
  • Chernobyl
  • Iodine-131
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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