Geen overtuigend bewijs voor een causaal verband tussen nasofaryngeale radiumbestraling op de kinderleeftijd en latere hoofd-halstumoren en hormonale aandoeningen; een historisch cohortonderzoek

C. M. Ronckers, P. G. Verduijn, C. E. Land, R. B. Hayes, M. Stovall, F. E. van Leeuwen

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To study the risk of malignant and benign tumours and hormone-related disorders among patients treated with nasopharyngeal radium irradiation for hypertrophic adenoid or hearing loss caused by otitis media serosa. Retrospective cohort study. The medical record registries of 9 hospitals were used to identify a radium-exposed group (n = 5358) and a control group of unexposed patients (n = 5265), who were treated by an otolaryngologist in the period 1945-1981. The vital status of the subjects was determined using municipal resident registries, and the cause of death of decedents was retrieved from Statistics Netherlands (1950-1997). The data was also coupled with the Netherlands Cancer Registry (1989-1996). For the subjects still alive in 1997, the prevalence of relevant disorders was determined using a self-administered questionnaire and disorders reported by the participants were medically verified. The risk of disease in the radium group was then compared with that of the control group. The average radiation doses were 2.75, 0.109 and 0.015 Gy for nasopharynx, pituitary, and thyroid, respectively. There was no statistically significantly elevated risk for malignancies of the head and neck area (radium-exposed group; n = 14; control group: n = 11 (relative risk (RR): 1.2; 95% CI: 0.6-2.8)). Four of the five thyroid carcinomas were found in the radium-exposed group (RR: 3.8; 0.5-76). Elevated risks were observed for breast cancer (RR: 1.6; 0.9-2.7) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (RR: 2.7; 1.0-8.7). There was an increased risk for skin basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the head and neck (odds ratio (OR): 2.6; 1.0-6.7), but the risk of BCC of other body parts was lower (OR: 0.3; 0.1-1.3). There were no major differences between radium and control subjects with respect to benign head and neck tumours (OR: 1.0; 0.5-1.7) or hormonal disorders. Exposed men reported slightly more fertility disorders than men in the control group (OR: 1.4; 1.0-2.1), but there was no clear dose-response relationship. After a mean follow-up of 31 years, there was no strong evidence for an elevated risk of head and neck tumours or hormone-related disorders in adulthood among subjects who had been treated with nasopharyngeal radium irradiation during childhood
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)1775-1780
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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