Wong, F. L., Yamada, M., Tominaga, T., Fujiwara, S. and Suzuki, G. Effects of Radiation on the Longitudinal Trends of Hemoglobin Levels in the Japanese Atomic Bomb Survivors. Radiat. Res. 164, 820–827 (2005).
The late effects of radiation on the hematopoietic system have not been fully evaluated. We examined the long-term effects of radiation exposure on hemoglobin levels in the Japanese atomic bomb survivors over a 40-year period from 1958 to 1998. Compared to the unexposed survivors, the mean hemoglobin levels for those exposed to a bone marrow dose of 1 Gy were significantly reduced by 0.10 g/dl (95% CI: 0.04 to 0.16) or 0.67% at 40 years of age (P < 0.0001) and by 0.24 g/dl (95% CI: 0.08 to 0.40) or 1.8% at 80 years of age. Radiation effects are greater for smokers than for nonsmokers at age less than 35 years (P < 0.01), although cigarette smoking was associated with increased hemoglobin levels. Sex and birth cohort differences in radiation effects were not found after adjusting for smoking. The radiation-induced reduction in hemoglobin levels could not be explained by the presence of certain anemia-associated diseases.