Cancer risk in 680 000 people exposed to computed tomography scans in childhood or adolescence: Data linkage study of 11 million Australians

John D Mathews, Anna V Forsythe, Zoe Brady, Martin W Butler, Stacy Kellan Goergen, Graham B Byrnes, Graham G Giles, Anthony B Wallace, Philip R Anderson, Tenniel A Guiver, Paul McGale, Timothy M Cain, James G Dowty, Adrian Charles Bickerstaffe, Sarah C Darby

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1299 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the cancer risk in children and adolescents following exposure to low dose ionising radiation from diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scans. Design: Population based, cohort, data linkage study in Australia. Cohort members: 10.9 million people identified from Australian Medicare records, aged 0-19 years on 1 January 1985 or born between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2005; all exposures to CT scans funded by Medicare during 1985-2005 were identified for this cohort. Cancers diagnosed in cohort members up to 31 December 2007 were obtained through linkage to national cancer records. Main outcome: Cancer incidence rates in individuals exposed to a CT scan more than one year before any cancer diagnosis, compared with cancer incidence rates in unexposed individuals. Results: 60 674 cancers were recorded, including 3150 in 680 211 people exposed to a CT scan at least one year before any cancer diagnosis. The mean duration of follow-up after exposure was 9.5 years. Overall cancer incidence was 24 greater for exposed than for unexposed people, after accounting for age, sex, and year of birth (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.24 (95 confidence interval 1.20 to 1.29); P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 18
Number of pages18
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7910 (Art # f2360)
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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