Saturday, July 21, 2007

Your Angiogram Increases Your Cancer Risk

CT Coronary Angiography Carries "Nonnegligible" Cancer Risk

Computed tomography coronary angiography carries a "nonnegligible" risk for cancer, which varies greatly by age and gender, according to a study in JAMA.

The study was based on risk estimates -- developed for the National Academies' Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation report -- that were applied to simulation models.

The lifetime attributable risk for cancer from a single CTCA for women was 1 in 143 at age 20, 1 in 284 at age 40, and 1 in 466 at age 60. Lung and breast cancer accounted for about 80% of the cancer risk in women.

Men's risks were considerably lower: 1 in 686 at age 20, 1 in 1007 at age 40, and 1 in 1241 at age 60. Women's higher risk was attributed to the greater radiosensitivity of their lungs and to the fact that the breast lies in the field irradiated during CTCA.

The authors note that CTCA "should be used particularly cautiously in the evaluation of young individuals, especially women."

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