Airborne radiation and congenital hypothyroidism of California newborns.

Mangano, Sherman, and Busby have recently released an article, “Changes in confirmed plus borderline cases of congenital hypothyroidism in California as a function of environmental fallout from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.” They argued that rates of congenital hypothyroidism (CH) in California newborns were elevated after the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in 2011, and this was associated with higher levels of gross beta radiation during this period. This disease is associated with exposure to radioactive iodine, and the beta radiation from iodine is a component of gross beta radiation. Further, they assert that radioactive iodine levels were not significant in 2012, when the levels of CH dropped again.

Dr. Paul Yarnold and myself have commented on the statistical methodology of this paper in two articles in Optimal Data Analysis (link, link).

The original article used an obsolete statistical methodology, clouding the validity of the study findings. Developers of the most current statistical paradigm therefore re-examined the data using rigorous state-of-the-art research methodology. The hypothesis that was tested in the original research — that newborns who were exposed to airborne radiation had a greater risk for CG — was statistically supported for California newborns with confirmed CH. Although the finding was statistically significant (i.e., “not a fluke, chance event”), the effect was very weak (i.e., not very many newborns were affected). Therefore a second study was undertaken to determine if the best alternative hypothesis might do a better job. The second study showed that the exposure hypothesis was best.

Unfortunately, the data for all of this research are hopelessly contaminated by a statistical anomaly called Simpson’s paradox, a type of ecological fallacy, which casts all of these findings into question. Although there is no way to prevent this confounding with the current data, the authors point out this may be fixed if radiation data and CH data are collected on a weekly or monthly basis in the future.

The CH data had different underlying statistical structures, and combining them may generate spurious results due to paradoxical confounding. And 2012 radiation data was combined with pre-Fukushima data, without explanation, even though a global radiation catastrophe occurred in between these disjoint time periods.

The authors conclude that the present findings require confirmation using non-contaminated data, but suggest that this avenue of investigation is warranted — reminding all to be mindful that the nuclear disaster in Japan is still unfolding, and to recall that the first articles on AIDS consisted of collections of a handful of case reports.

10 thoughts on “Airborne radiation and congenital hypothyroidism of California newborns.

  1. While I respect your statistical acumen,… all this sounds and feels like “CLOUDY Gooble-De-Goop” to me!

    Let’s do some more Surveys, shall we?

    I think NOT!

    California babies have fucked up thyroids,….and they are being further irradiated.

    See,…..I’m smart too!

    No offense to YOU Bobby1,…but PLENTY to Busby and the like!

  2. A friends says …xxxxxxxxxx I am from CA, lived there all my life with the exception of the last 5 years. In 2000 I was diagnosed with severe hypERthyroidism. They did Radioactive Iodine to correct the problem. They told me that it would either completely kill my thyroid, or restore it to perfect working order. Thank goodness…it restored it and I have had no other problems….

    • Iodine-131 is used in medicine to kill thyroid tissue. That’s what it is for. It is used for hyperthyroidism or thyroid cancer.

  3. NIH and CDC launch registry for sudden death in the young
    http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2013/nhlbi-24.htm

    Paul Yarnold Must contact them for data. Wonderful find, Rob!
    about an hour ago · Like

    Rob Soltysik Sudden cardiac death and cerebral atheroclerosis. It is Fukushima. People die of cancer much later generally.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Paul Yarnold Been happening with HS athletes for 2 decades, but no idea of numbers. I wonder who they will let have access to the data. If I can get my hands on a series, we can test the FU hypothesis in the same way that I tested death rate in North Dakota pre- ve…See More
    about an hour ago · Unlike · 1

    Rob Soltysik The entire world power structure is holding back the data.
    about an hour ago · Like · 1

    Rob Soltysik 180 countries signed on or associated with the CTBTO (Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization) refuse to divulge the nuclear explosion in Unit 3, which can be demonstrated with the CTBTO’s own criteria for what nuclear explosions are.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Paul Yarnold Even if the scum only report rate per whatever, I can boil them… Licking my chops. 85 BEARS!
    about an hour ago · Like

    Rob Soltysik If they would release the data, which in any sane planet would happen, it would be so easy. See why they don’t?
    about an hour ago · Like

    Paul Yarnold of course…
    30 minutes ago · Like

  4. Quote of jec: “Looked at that mentioned California Department of Public Health, and found an interesting ommission! They list various cancers-breast, ovary, uterine..but NOT ONE MENTION of thryoid cancer in their disease directory OR leukemia. And a search of thryoid on the site..one report with graphs from 2006 for adults over 20! Same for Acute Leukemia, old 2006 report. So..they are just posting the politically correct diseases and not even updating the information. What is sad, the public will go to the site, find a report and not realize they are looking at SEVEN year old materials!! Lots happens in seven years–Fukushima for one. Sad.”

    . quoted from: http://enenews.com/california-official-information-on-risk-from-fukushima-needs-to-be-made-public-state-in-contact-with-nrc-cbs-health-scare-over-possible-fukushima-radiation-in-pacific-caught-fish-surfer/comment-page-1#comment-446983

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