Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging, study finds

Date:
February 8, 2011
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures after a heart attack is associated with an increased risk of cancer, a new study finds.

Exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures after a heart attack is associated with an increased risk of cancer, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The use of procedures with low-dose ionizing radiation, such as computed tomography (CT) angiography and nuclear scans, is increasing which has led to mounting concern in the medical community that patients may be at increased risk of cancer. For patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease, the trend towards increased use of these procedures is particularly strong. In many centres, these procedures are replacing those that do not use radiation, such as stress tests on exercise treadmills and echocardiography. However, little is known about the effects of exposure to radiation and the risk of cancer.

The study, conducted by researchers from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and and the Jewish General Hospital in Montrιal, Quebec, looked at data on 82 861 patients who had a heart attack between April 1996 and March 2006 but no history of cancer. Of this number, 77% underwent at least one cardiac procedure with low-dose ionizing radiation within one year of the attack.

"We found a relation between the cumulative exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation from cardiac imaging and therapeutic procedures after acute myocardial infarction, and the risk of incident cancer," writes Dr. Louise Pilote, researcher in epidemiology at the Research Institute of the MUHC and director of the Division of Internal Medicine at the MUHC with coauthors. "Although most patients were exposed to low or moderate levels of radiation, a substantial group were exposed to high levels and in general tended to be younger male patients with fewer comorbidities."

The median age of patients was 63.2 years and 31.7% were women. Patients whose treating physician was a cardiologist had higher levels of exposure to radiation compared with those whose treating physician was a general practitioner. There were 12 020 incident cancers detected during follow up, with two-thirds of the cancers affecting the abdomen/pelvis and chest areas. "These results call into question whether our current enthusiasm for imaging and therapeutic procedures after acute myocardial infarction should be tempered," conclude the authors. "We should at least consider putting into place a system of prospectively documenting the imaging tests and procedures that each patient undergoes and estimating his or her cumulative exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation."

In a related commentary, Mathew Mercuri, McMaster University, and coauthors write that, although the radiation exposure of many tests is often low, "the frequency with which such tests are performed may pose a population risk." They state the best solution may be prevention, which could mean using procedures with lower or no radiation exposure, especially if there are multiple procedures involved. They call for programs to track radiation doses to help patients and physicians track the risk of cumulative exposure.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Mark J. Eisenberg, Jonathan Afilalo, Patrick R. Lawler, Michal Abrahamowicz, Hugues Richard, and Louise Pilote. Cancer risk related to low-dose ionizing radiation from cardiac imaging in patients after acute myocardial infarction. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.100463
  2. Mathew Mercuri, Tej Sheth, and Madhu K. Natarajan. Radiation exposure from medical imaging: A silent harm? Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.101885

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207122004.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, February 8). Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207122004.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207122004.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins