Perinatal mortality in West Germany after atmospheric weapons tests
Körblein A. Perinatal mortality in West Germany
following atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.
Using trend analysis, the author sought a
possible association between perinatal mortality rates in West Germany,
1955-1993, and the fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the years
1952-1993. The regression model used a continuously falling trend and a
superimposed extra term that reflects the average strontium content in pregnant
women. Mortality rates show an upward deviation that peaked in 1970. The model
attributes more than 100,000 excess perinatal deaths to strontium in the fallout.
The dose-response curve is curvilinear with a power of dose of 1.81 +/- 0.23. In
addition, using a combined regression model, the author analyzed the two data
subsets of perinatal mortality (i.e., stillbirth rate and early neonatal
mortality). The strontium effect is 3.4 times greater on early infant deaths
than on stillbirths. According to the prevailing wisdom, the fetus is protected
against damage from ionizing radiation by a threshold dose of 50-200 mSv, but
the doses from strontium in the fallout were well below 1 mSv/yr in Germany. The
results reported here seem to contradict the existence of a threshold dose for
perinatal mortality at low doses. PMID:
Fig.1: Early neonatal mortality (+) and stillbirth
(dots) rates in West Germany, 1955-1993, and trend lines. The columns represent
the strontium concentration in the fallout (arbitrary units).
|Fig.2: Residuals of early neonatal mortality (+) and stillbirth (dots) rates in West Germany, 1955-1993, and trend lines. The columns represent the strontium concentration in the fallout (arbitrary units).|