Occupational #radiation exposure and excess additive risk of #cataract incidence in a cohort of US radiologic technologists

..There were 11 345 cataract diagnoses and 5440 of cataract surgery during 832 462 and 888 402 person-years of follow-up, respectively. Cumulative occupational radiation exposure was associated with self-reported cataract, but not with cataract surgery, with EAR/104 person-year Gy=94 (95% CI: 47 to 143, p<0.001) and EAR/104 person-year Gy=13 (95% CI: <0 to 57, p=0.551), respectively. There was marked (p<0.001) variation of EAR by age and by diabetes status, with risk higher among persons ≥75 years and diabetics. There were indications of elevated risk among those with higher UVB radiation (p=0.045), whites (p=0.056) and among those with higher levels of cigarette smoking (p=0.062). Elevated additive risk was observed for estimated occupational radiation eye-lens doses <100 mGy (p=0.004) with no dose–response curvature (p=0.903).

Conclusions The elevated additive risks associated with low-dose radiation, if confirmed elsewhere, have important public health and clinical implications for radiation workers as well as regulatory measures.