Tatsukawa, Y., Nakashima, E., Yamada, M., Funamoto, S., Hida, A., Akahoshi, M., Sakata, R., Ross, N. P., Kasagi, F., Fujiwara, S. and Shore, R. E. Cardiovascular Disease Risk among Atomic Bomb Survivors Exposed In Utero, 1978–2003. Radiat. Res. 170, 269–274 (2008).
Given the well-documented association of in utero radiation exposure with childhood cancer and developmental impairments, the possibility of effects on adult onset diseases is an important issue. The objectives of the present study were to examine the effects of atomic bomb radiation dose on the incidence of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction and stroke) among survivors exposed in utero and to compare their risk estimates with those of survivors exposed in childhood (<10 years old) at the time of the bombing. A total of 506 participants exposed in utero and 1,053 participants exposed in childhood were followed during 1978–2003 with biennial clinical examinations. There were no significant radiation dose effects for any diseases in the entire in utero-exposed cohort or in trimester-of-exposure subgroups, though there was a suggestion of an increased risk when fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease cases were combined. Positive radiation dose effects were found for hypertension and cardiovascular disease in the childhood-exposure cohort, but there were no statistically significant differences in the relative risks when we compared the two cohorts. Since the in utero cohort was under age 60 at the latest examination, continued follow-up is needed to document cardiovascular disease risk more fully.