Deaths in the RERF Life Span Study (LSS) sample have been determined for the years 1950-1985 and an analysis of cancer mortality with the revised DS86 doses has been described separately. In this report, we examine the relationship to dose of deaths from all diseases other than cancer. Although the evidence is still limited, there seems to be an excess risk from non-cancer death at high doses (2 or 3 Gy and over). Statistically, a pure quadratic or a linear-threshold model [the estimated threshold dose is 1.4 Gy (0.6-2.8 Gy)] is found to fit better than a simple linear or linear-quadratic model. This increase in non-cancer mortality is statistically demonstrable, generally, after 1965 and among the younger survivors (<40 at the time of the bombing), suggesting a sensitivity for this age group. For specific causes of death, an excess in relative risk at the high dose level, that is, 2 Gy or more, is seen in circulatory and digestive diseases. The relative risk is, however, much smaller than that for cancer. These findings, based as they are on death certificates, have their limitations. Most significant, perhaps, is the possible erroneous attribution of radiation-related cancer deaths to other causes. At present, the contribution such errors may make to the apparent increase in non-cancer deaths at the higher doses cannot be estimated as rigorously as is obviously desirable. However, even now, this increase does not appear to be fully explicable in terms of errors in classification. Further follow-up of mortality in this LSS cohort as well as disease revealed by the biennial physical examinations of the morbidity subsample (Adult Health Study) of the LSS cohort will be needed to confirm this suggestion of a radiation-related increase in mortality from causes other than cancer, and to determine whether it results in a demonstrable life shortening among the heavily exposed A-bomb survivors.

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