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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health