In the study, Johnson and fellow researchers found that radiation from standard X-rays don't significantly raise cancer risks for young children, in general, but children undergoing more complex procedures with higher radiation like cardiac catheterizations and computed tomography (CT) scans have higher risks.
"Cancer risk overall is relatively low, but we hope that this awareness will encourage providers to limit radiation exposure in children, when alternative procedures can offer the same benefit with less radiation," Johnson said.
Researchers reviewed medical records to find the most common imaging procedures, calculated how much radiation organs absorb during each procedure.

They then used a National Academy of Sciences report to analyze lifetime cancer risks based on the amounts of each procedure's exposure. Lifetime cancer risk increases ranged from 0.002 per cent for chest X-rays to 0.4 per cent for complex CT scans and cardiac catheterizations.

The research was published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.


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