Original Paper

Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 539-552

First online:

Cerebrovascular diseases in nuclear workers first employed at the Mayak PA in 1948–1972

  • Tamara V. AzizovaAffiliated withSouthern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI) Email author 
  • , Colin R. MuirheadAffiliated withHealth Protection Agency
  • , Maria B. MoseevaAffiliated withSouthern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI)
  • , Evgenia S. GrigoryevaAffiliated withSouthern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI)
  • , Margarita V. SuminaAffiliated withSouthern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI)
  • , Jacqueline O’HaganAffiliated withHealth Protection Agency
  • , Wei ZhangAffiliated withHealth Protection Agency
  • , Richard J. G. E. HaylockAffiliated withHealth Protection Agency
  • , Nezahat HunterAffiliated withHealth Protection Agency

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Incidence and mortality from cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) (430–438 ICD-9 codes) have been studied in a cohort of 18,763 workers first employed at the Mayak Production Association (Mayak PA) in 1948–1972 and followed up to the end of 2005. Some of the workers were exposed to external gamma-rays only while others were exposed to a mixture of external gamma-rays and internal alpha-particle radiation due to incorporated 239Pu. After adjusting for non-radiation factors, there were significantly increasing trends in CVD incidence with total absorbed dose from external gamma-rays and total absorbed dose to liver from internal alpha radiation. The CVD incidence was statistically significantly higher among workers with total absorbed external gamma-ray doses greater than 0.20 Gy compared to those exposed to lower doses; the data were consistent with a linear trend in risk with external dose. The CVD incidence was statistically significantly higher among workers with total absorbed internal alpha-radiation doses to liver from incorporated 239Pu greater than 0.025 Gy compared to those exposed to lower doses. There was no statistically significant trend in CVD mortality risk with either external gamma-ray dose or internal alpha-radiation dose to liver. The risk estimates obtained are generally compatible with those from other large occupational studies, although the incidence data point to higher risk estimates compared to those from the Japanese A-bomb survivors. Further studies of the unique cohort of Mayak workers chronically exposed to external and internal radiation will allow improving the reliability and validating the radiation safety standards for occupational and public exposure.