Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Population as the Model for Health Consequences of Technogenic and Natural Disasters
Sergiy V. Volovyk, Duke University
Konstantin Loganovsky, Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine
Dimitry Bazyka, Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine
Volodymyr Bebeshko, Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine
The population of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (EZ) is a unique plausible model for research of biopsychosocial and health consequences of technogenic accidents and natural disasters. Persons who violated the prohibition to live in the Chernobyl EZ (unsanctioned self-returners or those who never left) are a unique cohort for this goal exposed to a combination of different extreme environmental stresses: psychological, social, external and internal (radionuclides via inhalation, contaminated land, water, and natural food) irradiation, heavy metals, chemicals, psychological response-disposition to alcohol and smoking, etc. In specific prospective clinical, lab, instrumental and field studies for two cohorts of ~400 and 250 persons from Chernobyl EZ on the base of integral analysis of the changes in all organism systems under extreme stress exposure, the high prevalence of cerebro- and cardiovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric and chronic fatigue syndrome spectrum disorders, and atypical brain accelerated aging pathologies were revealed.