It is well established that high-dose ionising radiation causes cardiovascular diseases. In contrast, the evidence for a causal relationship between long-term risk of cardiovascular diseases after moderate doses (0.5-5. Gy) is suggestive and weak after low doses (<0.5. Gy). However, evidence is emerging that doses under 0.5. Gy may also increase long-term risk of cardiovascular disease. This would have major implications for radiation protection with respect to medical use of radiation for diagnostic purposes and occupational or environmental radiation exposure. Therefore, it is of great importance to gain information about the presence and possible magnitude of radiation-related cardiovascular disease risk at doses of less than 0.5. Gy. The biological mechanisms implicated in any such effects are unclear and results from epidemiological studies are inconsistent. Molecular epidemiological studies can improve the understanding of the pathogenesis and the risk estimation of radiation-induced circulatory disease at low doses. Within the European DoReMi (Low Dose Research towards Multidisciplinary Integration) project, strategies to conduct molecular epidemiological studies in this field have been developed and evaluated. Key potentially useful European cohorts are the Mayak workers, other nuclear workers, uranium miners, Chernobyl liquidators, the Techa river residents and several diagnostic or low-dose radiotherapy patient cohorts. Criteria for informative studies are given and biomarkers to be investigated suggested. A close collaboration between epidemiology, biology and dosimetry is recommended, not only among experts in the radiation field, but also those in cardiovascular diseases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partially funded by the EC ( EURATOM FP7 Grant Number 8192 ) and the Dutch Cancer Society (Grant NKI 2009-4480 ). The Intramural Research Programme of the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics supported this work.
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Ionising radiation