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Title: Surveillance of mortality among atomic bomb survivors living in the United States using the National Death Index.
Authors: Fujita Y,  Ito C,  Mabuchi K
Journal: J Epidemiol
Date: 2004 Jan
Branches: REB
PubMed ID: 15065688
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The National Death Index is a useful source to establish the death of an individual and to determine the cause of death. We identified deaths in atomic bomb survivors in the United States who were lost to follow-up through the National Death Index, and examined the completeness of mortality ascertainment in atomic bomb survivors in the US through the National Death Index. METHODS: Since 1977, biennial medical examinations of atomic bomb survivors in the US have been conducted. The 1,073 atomic bomb survivors in the US included 764 individuals who had medical examinations at least once in sixteen years from 1977 through 1993 and 309 individuals who reported atomic bomb survivorship to medical examination project themselves. Of the 1,073 survivors living in the US, 471 people who participated in the ninth health examinations of atomic bomb survivors living in the US in 1993 were removed, and two people among the remaining 602 individuals had no information about their birth dates and Social Security numbers. An investigation of those deceased between 1979 and 1993 was conducted among 600 of the atomic bomb survivors in the US. Death certificates for atomic bomb survivors in the US were requested from the National Death Index. A comparison was made between the information on the death certificates acquired through the National Death Index and the data ascertained from the medical examination project conducted from 1979 through 1993. RESULTS: Forty-nine death certificates were obtained using the National Death Index. By sex, the dominant cause of death in females was malignant neoplasm, accounting for 53%. In males, it was circulatory disease, accounting for 37%. The National Death Index and the medical examination project determined that 57 deaths had occurred between 1979 and 1993. The sensitivity and specificity of the National Death Index is 86% and 97% respectively. CONCLUSION: It is suggested that the National Death Index is useful to follow up mortality among atomic bomb survivors in the US.