Hiroshima Journal of Medical Sciences Volume 57 Issue 1
published_at 2008-03

Health Status of Radiation Exposed Residents Living Near the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site Based on Health Assessment by Interview

Hirabayashi Kyoko
Harada Yuka
Harada Hironori
Muldagaliyev Talgat
Apsalikov Kazbek
Hoshi Masaharu
1.72 MB
The purpose of the present paper is to examine the aftereffects of radiation exposure on residents of villages near the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS) in Kazakhstan. Our Hiroshima University (Japan) research team began field research in 2002 by means of health assessments conducted via interviews. We focus on persons who responded to questions concerning their medical conditions and symptoms.

In this paper, we summarize and analyze, using multiple linear logistic regression analysis, the answers obtained by questionnaire survey.

The results show: (1) 31 % of the residents reported that they felt bad or were in very poor health. (2) Residents living in villages having higher radiation levels were more likely to report having poor or very poor health, minor complaints such as loss of sleep, headaches, nighttime sweating and swollen arms or legs, and the need for nursing care in performing activities of daily living. (3) Symptoms reported by over 40% of the respondents included high blood pressure, heart disease and arthralgia/ lower back pain/ arthritis.

Our results suggest that radiation exposure in the Semipalatinsk area is one of the causes of poor health in general among residents. There is also a possibility that radiation exposure has influenced the incidence of some specific medical conditions.
Health effects of radiation exposure
Nuclear tests
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(c) Hiroshima University Medical Press.