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Mortality and Sick Rates for Children in Semipalatinsk Region


Mortality and Sick Rate for Children Aged From 1 to 5 years in Conditions of Environmentally Unfavourable City in the Region Affected by Semipalatinsk Nuclear Testing Ground (Ust-Kamenogorsk as example)

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Visser H

Leading Institute
Research Center for Pediatrics and Children's Surgery, Kazakstan, Almaty

Supporting institutes

  • National Biotechnology Center of Kazakstan / Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, Kazakstan, Gvardeiski


  • University of Oklahoma, USA, OK, Norman

Project summary

The aim of the Project is to investigate sickness level and mortality rate among children aged from 1 to 5 years, who live in ecologically unfavourable town in conditions of combined influence of different chemical, radiological and social factors; to work out the model of effective health control among children of this age group.

In the network of the Project it is planning the next:

1. The investigation of radiological situation in Ust-Kamenogorsk town.

2. The investigation of content of heavy metals in different surroundings in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

3. The study of content of heavy metals in hair, nails, and urine of children, aged from 1 to 5 years, who live in different districts of Ust-Kamenogorsk.

4. To perform the analysis of medical and demographical situation in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

5. To perform expert evaluation of death reasons in children, aged from 1 to 5 years.

6. To study the set of pathology in children, aged from 1 to 5, in Ust-Kamenogorsk according to data of screening – questionnaire

7. On basis of analysis of primary medical documents (form 112/u and 026/u) and data from detailed medical examination to determine the condition of health and real spreading of different pathology in children, aged from 1 to 5 in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

8. To determine the influence of unfavourable ecological factors in different districts of Ust-Kamenogorsk on main indices of health of children, aged from 1 to 5.

9. To work out different suggestions on strengthening of health of children, aged from 1 to 5 years, the improvement of quality of medical-preventive aid to this contingent in dependence of level and character of negative ecological influence in conditions of big industrial city.

Negative influence of unfavourable ecological situation first of all affects the health of infants and preschool children, and therefore the object of investigation are children aged from 1 to 5 years. In reality, as rule, we have not only one, but the whole complex of damaging environmental factors. The combined influence of these factors cannot be assessed by simple summation. At the same time, children aged from 1 to 5 years, is the most ecologically sensivitive group of population. The determinancy of mortality of this age group and their health are interesting.

Pre-nosologic and primary clinic deviations of health of infants and preschool children: syndrome of environmental non-adaptation and syndrome of low dose radiation hypersensivity (LSRH) causes the great interest, because they are wide spread. With the help of mathematics it is possible to determine the role of different risks of development of pathology among this age group. On the basis of this investigation the programme of preventive measures of sickness and mortality among children, aged from 1 to 5 years, will be worked out.

Having in mind long period of nuclear experiments at the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground, where three generations of people have been affected, one may expect wide extent of various rate of genetic damaging, which also can be an unfavourable premorbid background.

The importance of study of low doses radiation also is connected with such fact, that these doses manifestate and intensify the effect of other damaging factors of environment.

Scrutinizing the influence of radiation on population's health, it is necessary to point out, that in reality this fact often can be simultaneously with chemical ecological pollutants. The mechanism of combined damaging influence of radiation and chemical pollutants becomes more clear, if one will consider radiation as radioactive endotoxicosis, which accompanied by deviations of processes of free radical oxidation, accumulation of “primary” and “secondary” radiotoxines, increased load on natural organs of detoxication and excretion. This theory was confirmed by such fact, that after Chernobyl disaster the most significant worsening of health of different categories of population was in such regions, where the content of chemical pollutants was higher.

The correlation analysis of indices of health of children aged from 1 to 5 years, and also parameters of radiation situation and content of main ecological pollutants in different districts of Ust-Kamenogorsk town will give the opportunity to determine the specific weight of unfavourable influence of Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground and technogenous factors in total structure of determinants of sickness and mortality of examined age group.

The novelty of the proposed Project is, that at first time in Kazakhstan it will be performed systemic and epidemiological approach to investigation of ecological situation, which can affect on dynamics and range of mortality rate, sickness and spreading of pathology among children, aged from 1 to 5, in the region affected by Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground and unfavourable technogenous factors. The structure of mortality and sickness of children aged till 5 years will be studied. Ust-Kamenogorsk town is the unique site for conducting of ecological investigations, where there is an exceeding of maximum permissible doses of heavy metals in ground and snow is combined with high atmospheric pollution and unfavourable radiation influence.

Concerning the status of this problem in the world, it is necessary to point out, that scientific works which are devoted to investigation of mortality of children, aged from 1 till 5 years, are not numerous. At the same time the high sensitivity of this age group to unfavourable ecological and social factors determines the great scientific significance of planning investigation. In literature there are some publications about the influence of radiation on condition of children’s health, but in these scientific works the negative influence of unfavourable radiation is shown only on separate group of diseases. In our investigations data about the influence of the whole complex of chemical pollutants in the conditions of big industrial center are given. At once the unrepeatable peculiarities of ecology in Ust-Kamenogorsk town, which are connected with combination of long period (during 40 years) of negative influence of Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground and severe technogenous influence at the same region makes the planned work unique.

At first time combined influence of radiation and damaging ecological chemical factors on children’s health, aged from 1 to 5 years, who live in ecological unfavourable town (as example, Ust-Kamenogorsk) will be studied.


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