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Age-dependent Impact of Fluoroscopic Radiation on the Gender of Off-spring: An International Survey of Cardiologists

Background – Fluoroscopic radiation has been implicated in reducing the sex ratio (M:F) by potentially damaging the Y chromosome. We examined the effects of exposure to fluoroscopic radiation on gender of offspring of cardiologists across the world.

Methods - An internet based survey was e-mailed worldwide to 8000 physicians who practice invasive electrophysiology and/or interventional cardiology.  Survey questions included age, race, sub-specialty, hours of exposure to radiation, number of children, gender of off-spring, miscarriages and mutations and exposure to radiation prior to conception of each child. Logistic regression analyses were performed on years of exposure and gender of offspring born post radiation exposure.

Results – Responses of 377 cardiologists (84% male and 16% female) were reviewed.   With a total of 398 males and 402 females born to 377 cardiologists, although reduced, the overall sex ratio (0.99) was not significantly different from that observed in the general population (1.05). Univariate logistic regression analysis identified higher male births with increasing hours of radiation exposure (OR 1.034, CI 1.003-1.067 p=0.03) and increasing paternal age (OR 1.05, CI 1.01-1.08, p=0.002). Subgroup analysis of children of male cardiologists revealed higher incidence of male births with increasing age and radiation exposure and multivariate analysis only identified paternal age as predictor of higher incidence of male births (OR 1.05, CI 1.01-1.089, p=0.0027).

Conclusion – Exposure to ionizing radiation leads to a decrease in the sex ratio (M/F) in younger male cardiologists, while this effect is reversed with greater number of male births in older male cardiologists.

Credits: Jayasree Pillarisetti MD; Sowjanya Duthuluru MD; Hari Sayana MD; Haley Goucher BA; Akshar Patel BA; Mazda Biria MD; James Vacek MD; Loren Berenbom MD; Sudharani Bommana M.Phil; Jayant Nath MD; Mark Wiley MD; Ajay Nangia MD; Luigi Di Biase MD; Andrea Natale MD; Madhuri Reddy MD; Buddhadeb Dawn, MD; Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy MD

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