Even low-dose diagnostic ionising radiation ups kids' cancer risk

However, the absolute lifetime risk is low, researchers say

Exposure to diagnostic low-dose ionising radiation and CT scans is associated with increased cancer incidence in children, according to a study in more than 12 million children and adolescents.

CT scan

The researchers analysed South Korean National Health Insurance System claims data on a cohort aged up to 19 at enrolment in 2006 and followed to 2015.

Exposure to diagnostic low-dose ionising radiation occurred in 10.6%, including 178,500 who had more than one scan.

There were 21,912 cancers diagnosed during follow-up, including 1444 (0.1%) in individuals