Outcome of Pregnancy in one Norwegian County 3 Years Prior to and 3 Years Subsequent to the Chernobyl Accident


Magnar Ulstein, MD Kvinneklinikken Haukeland sykehus 5021, Bergen, Norway


Pregnancy outcome was studied in a county in Norway 3 years prior to and 3 years subsequent to the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident on 26th April 1986. More detailed analyses have been performed for the 12 months prior to and subsequent to the accident. A significant increase in the spontaneous abortion rate the first year after the accident was followed by a slight decrease during the second and third years, but figures were still higher than the period prior to the accident. the rate of legal abortions was unchanged. During the entire observation period the number of births increased continuously, with the exception of a decrease in the last 2 months of 1986 and the first month of 1987. A higher incidence of spontaneous abortions was found for pregnancies conceived during the first 3 months after the accident. This increase in the spontaneous abortion rate is noteworthy, and more especially its long-term persistence, which cannot be the result of external radiation. the internal radiation from food polluted by radioactive fallout is a possible explanation. Changes in nutrition in order to avoid polluted food may also be of importance.