Department of Epidemiology, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
To study the full health effects of parental radiation exposure on the children of the atomic bomb survivors, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation developed a cohort of 76,814 children born to atomic bomb survivors (F1 generation) to assess cancer incidence and mortality from common adult diseases. In analyzing radiationassociated health information, it is important to be able to adjust for sociodemographic and lifestyle variations that may affect health. In order to gain this and other background information on the F1 cohort and to determine willingness to participate in a related clinical study, the F1 Mail Survey Questionnaire was designed with questions corresponding to relevant health, sociodemographic, and lifestyle indicators. Between the years 2000 and 2006, the survey was sent to a subset of the F1 Mortality Cohort. A total of 16,183 surveys were completed and returned: 10,980 surveys from Hiroshima residents and 5,203 from Nagasaki residents. The response rate was 65.6%, varying somewhat across parental exposure category, city, gender, and year of birth. Differences in health and lifestyle were noted in several variables on comparison across city and gender. No major differences in health, lifestyle, sociodemographics, or disease were seen across parental exposure categories, though statistically significant tests for heterogeneity and linear trend revealed some possible changes with dose. The data described herein provide a foundation for studies in the future.