HealthDay News — From 2006 to 2016, there was a decrease in per-capita exposure to medical radiation in the United States, according to a study published online March 17 in Radiology.

Fred A. Mettler Jr., M.D., from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and colleagues examined the change in per-capita radiation exposure from 2006 to 2016 in the United States based on assessments conducted by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

The researchers found that an estimated 377 million diagnostic and interventional radiologic examinations were performed in the United States in 2006. Even though the U.S. population had increased by about 24 million people, for 2016, the number of examinations remained essentially the same. There was an increase in the number of computed tomography scans performed from 67 to 84 million, while decreases were seen in the number of other procedures from 17 to 13.5 million. The U.S. annual individual (per capita) effective dose from diagnostic and interventional medical procedures was estimated at 2.9 and 2.3 mSv in 2006 and 2016, respectively, with collective doses of 885,000 and 755,000 person-sievert, respectively.

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“The trend from 1980 to 2006 of increasing dose from medical radiation has reversed,” the authors write. “Estimated 2016 total collective effective dose and radiation dose per capita dose are lower than in 2006.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and publishing industries.

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