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Frequently Asked Questions

With regard to Figure 12 on page 22 of RERF's "A Brief Description," the corresponding text on page 21 states that effects of A-bomb radiation exposure were observed for benign uterine tumors, thyroid disease, chronic liver disease, cataract, and hypertension. For diseases other than those mentioned above, what does the figure suggest?
With regard to the other diseases listed in Figure 12, it cannot be said that their frequencies increased in relation to radiation exposure in terms of the analysis shown in the original paper that contained the figure.

The black dots shown in Figure 12 represent relative risk per Gy. Furthermore, you can see horizontal lines that pass through these dots. The horizontal lines indicate 95% confidence intervals for relative risk, i.e., the reliability of relative risk. If a horizontal line is located on the right side of the dotted vertical line in excess of 1.0 (high risk zone), the value that represents absence of risk, it can be interpreted that risk is significantly high from a statistical viewpoint. If the line straddles the 1.0 line, however, it cannot be said that radiation risk is significant, because the possibility also exists that disease frequency may decrease statistically within the confidence interval depending on radiation dose.

For the reasons mentioned above, the horizontal lines (relative risk) for the other diseases of interest straddle that 1.0 point, and hence it cannot be said that the risks are statistically significant.