Problems of evaluating public health after an accident at a nuclear power plant

The Chernobyl accident caused, in addition to external exposure to radiation, inhalation and oral intake of the main dose-forming radionuclides: caesium-134 and 137 and iodine-131. Taken together, the adverse factors emerging from the accident at Chernobyl manifested themselves first and foremost in vegetative dysfunction, disturbances of neurovascular regulation and changes in the reactivity of the immune system. The significantly increasing migration of the population and its inhomogeneous nature, especially in the groups of reproductive age, are bringing about changes in the structure of the population and in family planning strategies. In the regions studied, dynamic statistical indicators of the spread of infectious diseases have reflected the general trend in our country, namely towards a reduction of such diseases. In 1986, the frequency of acute intestinal infection dropped in a number of regions by factors of 1.5-8. In the Ukraine a special clinical register of pregnant women and babies from the regions under study is being kept. The initial document includes 1,630 pregnant women. No significant departures from the norm have been found in the course of these pregnancies and births, or in the condition of the new-born babies. Detailed clinical examination of 416 babies showed that the condition of the vast majority of them at birth corresponded to a score of 7-8 on the Apgar scale. Examination of the reproductive system in 417 women of child-bearing age did not reveal any abnormalities. We are now at the beginning of a second observation period, associated with the development of somatic stochastic effects. It will be necessary to carry out further retrospective and prospective analyses of the incidence of disease in various population groups, taking into account age, sex and profession, as well as medical, social, geographical, ecological and other factors affecting the organism. (author).


Pyatak, O.A.; Luk'yanova, E.M.; Bugaev, V.N. (and others).


chernobylsk-4 reactor; infectious diseases; medical examinations; neoplasms; pathological changes; pregnancy; public health; radiation accidents; accidents; diseases; enriched uranium reactors; graphite moderated reactors; lwgr type reactors; medical surveillance; medicine; power reactors; preventive medicine; reactors; thermal reactors

Subject Category

Actual Accidents


Report; International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria); Medical aspects of the Chernobyl accident; IAEA-TECDOC--516.; Jul 1988.; 381 p.; p. 273-281.

Place of Publication

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


Available from INIS in electronic form.