A new study shows that children who were born within 10 years of both parents surviving the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima have a higher rate of developing leukemia than children who only had one parent who was a survivor within 10 years of the blast.
The finding was unveiled in Nagasaki on June 3 at a conference on post-atomic bombing disorders.
“We will do further analysis,” said Nanao Kamada, a Hiroshima University professor emeritus of internal medicine, who led the group that conducted the research.
The genetic effects on the children of parents who have been exposed to radiation have not been confirmed.
Kamada’s group examined leukemia cases among some 120,000 people living in Hiroshima Prefecture whose parents were survivors of the atomic bombing. The 120,000 people were found based on a 1973 survey.
The group confirmed 94 of those had developed the disease after examining medical documents compiled over the five decades from 1946 to 1995 at Hiroshima University’s Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine and other hospitals.
According to the group, 49 of the 94 people were born within 10 years of the bombing and developed leukemia by the time they turned 35. Of the 49, six were among 18,087 people whose father only was exposed to the atomic bomb; 17 were among 30,577 whose mother only was an atomic bomb survivor; and 26 were among 14,453 whose both parents were exposed to radiation from the blast.
The Radiation Effects Research Foundation, a Japan-U.S. cooperative organization, had investigated radiation’s possible genetic effects on bomb survivors’ children concerning adult diseases for seven years from 2000. The foundation said a survey done over decades will be needed to draw a conclusion.
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