Ionizing radiation causes detrimental health effects such as cancer and genetic damage. The study aim was to determine predictors for micronuclei (MN) occurrence and frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes of health workers professionally exposed to radiation.
Health workers, age matched, selected for the study on regular check-ups, were divided according to the radiation exposure. The exposed group involved nuclear medicine department employees (54) and the control group comprised workers from other departments (36). Data about workers characteristics and habits, received annual doses (AD), total years of service (TYS) and exposed years of service (EYS) were taken from each subject. Blood samples were taken and micronuclei (MN) number in peripheral blood lymphocytes was calculated using CBMN assay according to standard protocols.
Most workers were female, technicians, with mean age of 45.67 years and EYS about 15 years. Health workers exposed to radiation had significantly more MN than controls ( p = 0.001). Female gender, older age, higher received annual doses, longer EYS and TYS increased the MN number. Technicians and laboratory workers have higher risk for MN occurrence. Significant predictors of MN formation according to constructed model were workers age, sex, AD and EYS. One EYS year increases MN frequency 1.017 times, while receiving 0.1 mSy raises MN frequency by 26 %. EYS accurately predicts 86.30 % of MN frequencies and AD 64.60 %.