Living near nuclear power plants and thyroid cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jaeyoung Kim, Yejin Bang, Won Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There has been public concern regarding the safety of residing near nuclear power plants, and the extent of risk for thyroid cancer among adults living near nuclear power plants has not been fully explored. In the present study, a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies was conducted to investigate the association between living near nuclear power plants and the risk of thyroid cancer. A comprehensive literature search was performed on studies published up to March 2015 on the association between nuclear power plants and thyroid cancer risk. The summary standardized incidence ratio (SIR), standardized mortality ratio (SMR), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effect model of meta-analysis. Sensitivity analyses were performed by study quality. Thirteen studies were included in the meta-analysis, covering 36 nuclear power stations in 10 countries. Overall, summary estimates showed no significant increased thyroid cancer incidence or mortality among residents living near nuclear power plants (summary SIR. =. 0.98; 95% CI 0.87-1.11, summary SMR = 0.80; 95% CI 0.62-1.04). The pooled estimates did not reveal different patterns of risk by gender, exposure definition, or reference population. However, sensitivity analysis by exposure definition showed that living less than 20. km from nuclear power plants was associated with a significant increase in the risk of thyroid cancer in well-designed studies (summary OR = 1.75; 95% CI 1.17-2.64). Our study does not support an association between living near nuclear power plants and risk of thyroid cancer but does support a need for well-designed future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment International
Volume87
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1

Keywords

  • Environmental exposure
  • Neoplasm
  • Radiation
  • Thyroid gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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