Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2014. Vol. 59. No. 4. P. 25-31


G.M. Rumjantseva1,2, T.M. Levina1

Radiation and Non-radiation Effects in Mental Health of People Affected by Radiation Accident

1. V.P. Serbsky National Research Centre for Social and Forensic Psychiatry, Moscow, Russia. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; 2. Bryansk Regional Psychiatric Hospital No. 1, Bryansk, Russia


Purpose: To study the dynamics of the prevalence of mental disorders in the areas affected by radiation accident.

Material and methods: A comparative study of the incidence and morbidity of mental health problems of the population of radiation contaminated and clean areas of the Bryansk region for 2001–2011. The studywas conducted according to the state statistics, as well as according to the data base of outpatient neuropsychiatric medical departments with using of mathematical and statistical of methods.

Results: It is established that there is an increase of the contingent of mentally ill in the country a whole, and its decreases in the Bryansk region. Especially significant differences in terms of morbidity non-psychotic mental disorders: in the country – an increase on 9.6 %, in the Bryansk area – decrease by 8.4 %. Cause: the stress of a radiation accident and its consequences is realized in the future on the psychosomatic type as a group of psychosomatic illness (primarily cardiovascular) in general increased by 2 times. Schizophrenia showed the significant increase in the affected areas, the growth of which was not associated with the radiation factor, and it is a consequence of the population decreasing in contaminated areas due to the greater migration of healthy and nevrotically population. Patients with schizophrenia are not only more tolerant to stress, but also less mobile. Only mental retardation reveals the true growth that is closely correlated with the different stages of postacidental situation and the annual growth of cumulative dose of radiation, as well as, the level of alcoholic psychoses.

Conclusions: On the remote stages of the radiation accident the structure of mental illness and the structure of social groups have been changed. A contingent of recruitment and human resources reduced, psychosomatic morbidity increased, quality of life is changed. The causes of that are, as well as, radiation and, even more, non-radiation factors: socio-economic, social, psychological, migration, some features of the mental disorders pathogenesis, which once again underlines the common social characteristic of such disasters.

Key words: radiation accident, mental disorders, morbidity