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Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance To Collect Medical Outcome and Risk Factor Data From a Cohort of U.S. Radiologic Technologists

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In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

Proposed Collection: Title: Generic Clearance to Collect Medical Outcome and Risk Factor Data from a Cohort of U.S. Radiologic Technologists. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement with change of a previously approved collection (OMB No. 0925-0405 expired 09/30/1999). Need and Use of Information Collection. The primary aim of this project is to substantially increase knowledge about the long-term health affects associated with protracted low- to moderate-dose radiation exposures. With this submission, the NIH, Office of Communications and Public Liaison, seeks to obtain OMB's generic approval to conduct occasional surveys of a cohort of U.S. radiologists to ascertain incident cancers, benign conditions associated with high risk of cancer, and selected other health outcomes, as well as demographic, lifestyle, reproductive, employment, and other characteristics that may influence health risks. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the University of Minnesota have followed a nationwide cohort of 146,000 radiologists since 1982, of whom 110,000 completed at least one of two prior questionnaire surveys and 17,000 are deceased. This cohort is unique because estimates of cumulative radiation dose to specific organs (e.g., breast) are available and the cohort is largely female, offering a rare opportunity to study effects of low-dose radiation exposure on breast and thyroid cancers, the two most sensitive organ sites for radiation carcinogenesis in women. Primary objectives are to quantify radiation dose-response for: (1) Cancers of the breast, thyroid, other radiogenic sites or histologies, and other cancers; (2) benign breast disease, thyroid nodules, and other benign conditions associated with increased cancer risk; and (3) other selected health outcomes that may be related to radiation exposure (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Findings from this study will address an important gap in the scientific understanding of radiation dose-rate affects, i.e., whether cumulative exposures of the same magnitude have the same health affects when received in single or a few doses over a very short period of time (as in atomic bomb or therapeutic exposures) or in many small doses over a protracted period of time (as in medical or nuclear occupational settings). The first survey will be mailed in 2004 to approximately 100,000 living cohort members who completed at least one prior survey and will collect information on: (1) Medical outcomes (as described above) to assess radiation-related risks; (2) detailed job-specific frequency of performing high-dose procedures (e.g., handling isotopes), use of protective measures (e.g., using lead aprons or standing behind shields), and other work practices (e.g., holding patients for x-rays) to refine the organ dose estimates and associated uncertainty distributions; and (3) behavioral, susceptibility, and residential histories for refining estimates of lifetime ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure to assess in greater detail the risks of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer associated with UV and ionizing radiation exposures, separated and jointly. Subsequent surveys will collect updated information on medical outcomes and risk factors of interest at that time. All surveys will be in optical-read format for computerized data capture. The annual reporting burden is as follows: Frequency of Response: On occasion. Affected Public: U.S. radiologic technologists who have willingly participated in earlier investigations to quantify the carcinogenic risks of protracted low- to moderate-dose occupational radiation exposures. Estimated Number of Respondents: 56,000. Estimated Number of Responses Per Respondent: 1. Average Burden Hours Per Response: 0.50. Annual Burden Hours Requested: 28,200. Total cost to respondents is estimated at $654,804. There are no capital costs, operating costs and/or maintenance costs to report.

Request for Comments: Written comments and/or suggestions from the public and affected agencies are invited on one or more of the following points: (1) Whether the proposed collection information is necessary for the proper performance of the functioning of the National Cancer Institute, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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To request additional information on the proposed collection of information contact: Michele M. Doody, Radiation Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Executive Plaza South, Room 7040, Bethesda, MD 20892-7238, or call non-toll-free at (301) 594-7203. You Start Printed Page 51276may also e-mail your request to

Comments Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of this publication.

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Dated: August 18, 2003.

Reesa Nichols,

NCI Project Clearance Liaison.

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[FR Doc. 03-21693 Filed 8-25-03; 8:45 am]