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Psychosomatic Health Status of Children Exposed to the Chernobyl Accident

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Childhood victims were investigated focussing on the psychosomatic disorders. The subjects were some of the 3834 children who evacuated from the Chernobyl zone to Kiev (evacuees) and 200 children who have been living in Kiev since prior to the accident (comparison group). A psychological test administered to 504 evacuees aged 12-14 years at the time of the accident and the comparison group indicated that the frequencies of neutroticism, high level of anxiety and conflicts were significantly higher in the evacuees than in the comparison group (p<0.001). Another psychological test administered at puberty to the 504 evacuees and 200 other evacuees exposed to the accident at 4-6 years of age indicated that the psycho-emotional portrait of evacuated teenagers significantly changed with time since the accident. The effects of the Chernobyl accident on the health of the vegetative dystonia observed in 1987-1990 and 1990-1995 were higher in the evacuees than in the comparison group, although they were not statistically significant. Furthermore, a significant (p<0.001) association of the vegetative dystonia with peptic and cardiovascular disorders was observed. The present study indicates that the vegetative dystonia is still highly prevalent among childhood victims and deems to support that the vegetative dystonia may be a precursor of several diseases such as cardiovascular and peptic disorders. It should be emphasized that a health promotion program to produce a change in psychological and social problems after the Chernobyl accident is necessary to decrease the health impact among Ukrainian people.

identifier:Acta medica Nagasakiensia. 1998, 43(3-4), p.57-61

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