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Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

Impact factor: 1.246

ISSN Print: 0731-8898
ISSN Online: 2162-6537

Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

DOI: 10.1615/JEnvPathToxOncol.v23.i2.20
8 pages

Radiation and Cardiovascular Diseases

Akhilesh Trivedi
Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, Ottawa; and Radiation Biology and Health Physics Branch, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada (Posthumous)
Mohammed A. Hannan
Division of Radiation Research, Environment Health Science Bureau, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Both epidemiological and experimental evidence emphasize the connection between radiation exposure and cancer. Little effort has been directed toward finding an association between radiation and cardiovascular diseases. Lately, studies on the A-bomb survivors and Chernobyl accident victims have indicated that radiation doses as low as 0.05-1.0 Gy could be responsible for an increase in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Exposures to high doses of radiation (~10-40 Gy) have also been reported to induce atherosclerotic lesions in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Earlier studies in experimental animals have shown that radiation, mostly at high doses (>5 Gy), could accelerate the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. This article provides an up-to-date review of the literature connecting cardiovascular diseases to radiation exposures, particularly at low doses, and the potential implications of this connection in radiation risk assessment.