This paper is one of the outcomes of the Adult Health Study; a cohort study of the atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima-Nagasaki in Japan. It investigates the proposed association between pasty radiation exposure early in life and the presence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) later in life among the survivors. AMD was diagnosed from fundus photography taken by a non-mydriatic digital camera and were assessed by a masked ophthalmologist. The assessment followed the Wisconsin AMD grading system, modified for the Blue Mountains Study. Individual eye radiation dose was estimated with a dosimetry system (DS02) and weighted in data analysis. Nearly a quarter of the total sample of participants was excluded due to participants not agreeing with the examination or having ungradable photo quality. There were 1824 subjects analysed with a mean age of 73.8±6.7 years and 197 AMD patients. 43.6% had less than 0.005 Gy and 4.8% had more than 2 Gy exposure. The prevalence of AMD did not show any radiation-related trends. However, as there was a high proportion of the cohort excluded due to poor quality fundus image, it is possible there is an element of selection bias from radiation-related opacity in lens. Furthermore, the study lacked matched controls and given the low number of subjects diagnosed with AMD, it may have attributed to the results of the study showing no statistically significant associations between radiation exposure early in life and the prevalence of AMD in later life among the cohort.

Exposure to atomic bomb radiation and age-related macular degeneration in later life: The Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor study.
Itakura K, Takahashi I, Nakashima E, et al.
Share This
Wai Siene Ng

University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.

View Full Profile