An analysis of monoclonal gammopathy in relation to radiation exposure was conducted on atomic bomb survivors examined between October 1979 and September 1981 and between June 1985 and May 1987. There was no overall increase in the relative risk of monoclonal gammopathy and only a suggestive increase in benign monoclonal gammopathy in the second survey which did not achieve statistical significance (P = 0.17). Thirty-one cases were detected among 8796 individuals studied in the first survey, whereas 68 cases were found among 7350 people in the second survey. Among the 31 cases found in the first survey, 9 individuals (29%) died before the second survey: 4 of cancer, 4 of vascular disease, and 1 of infection. Among the 8 individuals with benign monoclonal gammopathy examined in both surveys, 4 developed suppression of residual immunoglobulin(s), suggesting the progression of monoclonal gammopathy. The overall relative risks of monoclonal gammopathy in atomic bomb survivors in the two surveys were not significantly increased with increasing radiation dose. Only benign monoclonal gammopathy in 1985-1987 showed a suggestive increase with radiation exposure. The relative risk of benign monoclonal gammopathy in 1985-1987 was 2.64 in the group exposed to 0.01-0.49 Gy and 2.14 in the ≥0.50-Gy group (95% confidence intervals = 0.90-8.82 and 0.69-7.31, respectively).

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