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Are dental x-rays putting you at risk of meningioma?

Are dental x-rays putting you at risk of meningioma?
10th April 2012

People that undergo frequent dental x-rays could be at an increased risk of developing a common type of fatal brain tumour.

A cohort of researchers in the United States have found a link between the development of meningioma and regular dental x-rays.

Exposure to ionising radiation has long being cited as an environmental risk factor for meningioma and dental x-rays are a common source of the radiation.

Dr Elizabeth Claus, a neurosurgeon at BWH and Yale University School of Medicine, commented: "This research suggests that although dental x-rays are an important tool in maintaining good oral health, efforts to moderate exposure to this form of imaging may be of benefit to some patients."

The discovery was made when Dr Claus and colleagues assessed data from 1,433 patients diagnosed with meningioma between 20 and 79 years of age.

This was compared to a control group and it was found that those who underwent a bitewing exam or a panorex x-ray exam - common forms of dental x-rays - were more likely to develop a brain tumour.

Studies have previously suggested that those who develop meningioma are also genetically predisposed to the tumour.

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