National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine
State Institution "The National Research Center for Radiation Medicine"

ISSN 2313-4607 (Online)
ISSN 2304-8336 (Print)

Problems of Radiation Medicine and Radiobiology



D. Belyi, O. Nastina, G. Sydorenko, N. Kursina, O. Bazyka, Z. Gabulavichene, O. Kovaliov

State Institution National Research Center for Radiation Medicine of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, 53 Yuriia Illienka St., Kyiv, 04050, Ukraine


The objective of this investigation is to determine features of hypertensive heart disease (HHD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) development in emergency workers (EW) of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) in dependence on gender, occupation, duration of stay under radiation and the nature of performed job.
Materials and methods. During the period from 2012 to 2018, 483 male EW (EW-m) and 134 female EW (EW-f), who worked in the accident zone over 19861987, were examined. All EW of both gender at the time of emergency works had no signs of cardiac pathology. The diagnosis of cardiovascular disease was established in accordance with the diagnostic standards adopted in Ukraine [2964], on the basis of clinical and laboratory examination.
Results. EW could be divided into the following categories according to their occupational membership and nature of performed job: (1) ChNPP staff, (2) persons engaged in construction works (builders), (3) drivers, (4) engineers and technicians, (5) Soviet Army (SA) personnel, policemen and firemen served in Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), officers of Interior Troops (IT), (6) low skilled laborers (LSL), (7) medical staff (doctors, nurses, paramedics) and (8) service staff. Among all examined men and women who took part in emergency work, the overwhelming majority stood in the accident area from the end of April to the end of December 1986: 440 men and 111 women. Others were involved to work during 1987. Most men and women worked on liquidation of the accident from April 26, 1986 to the end of May (349 and 71 persons respectively), with the proportion of men was significantly higher. In the rest months of 1986 and the beginning of 1987, on the contrary, the relative number of women involved in the accident exceeded the proportion of men.The EW-m of all occupations were in the risk zone of the cardiovascular diseases, and the HHD development truly correlated with service in MIA, SA and IT, CHD development with profession of engineer and technician, and builder as well, and MI development with driver job. The risk of HHD development during the first 10 years after the accident was 4.6 times higher among officers of MIA, SA and IT who had non-shift work in Prypiat and/or at the ChNPP comparing with persons of other occupations and working conditions. The risk of CHD development during the first 15 years was 8.2 times higher in the engineers and technicians who worked in the 30-km zone, compared with other EW and risk of MI throughout the observation period was 6.4 times higher in the drivers, who had shift work in a 30-km zone. In EW-f the risk of HHD developing during the first 10 years after the accident was 2.1 times lower than those who worked in the service sector (kitchen, trade, economists and accountants, communications, etc.) compared with the representatives of any other profession, and the risk of CHD developing during the first 15 years after the accident was higher in medical staff and EW of other occupational categories that had shift work. Women who worked with shifts had a 4.8-fold higher risk of MI developing than those who had limited terms of work with the subsequent withdrawal from the accident area.
Conclusions. For more accurately assess the radiation effects on the cardiovascular system of persons who took part in the emergency works at the ChNPP, it should not be limited by comparing the effects of unexposed populations, but to take into account the EW professional affiliation, the terms of stay in the accident area and the nature of performed work.
Key words: emergency workers at the Chornobyl NPP, ionizing radiation, hypertensive heart disease, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, working conditions, occupational groups.

Problems of Radiation Medicine and Radiobiology.
2019;24:350-366. doi: 10.33145/2304-8336-2019-24-350-366

full text

Home | Editorial board | For Authors | Archive | Search
© 2013 Problems of Radiation Medicine