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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Younger Americans are being exposed to worrisome amounts of radiation from medical scans that increase their risk of cancer, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
They said the cumulative risk of repeated exposure to radiation from medical scans is a public health threat that needs to be addressed.
"Even though the individual risk for any patient exposed to these kinds of doses may be small, when you add that up over millions of people, that can be a concerning population risk," Dr. Reza Fazel of Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Their three-year study of nearly 1 million Americans aged 18 to 64 suggests that as many as 4 million Americans a year are exposed to what they viewed as high doses of radiation.
A report in March by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement found that Americans are exposed to seven times more radiation from diagnostic scans than in 1980.