USRT Study Update - Summer 2005

(PDF version - 1.7mb)

A collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists

We want to hear from you

According to our records, we have not received your completed questionnaire. If you still have the USRT Third Survey, please complete and mail it in right away.

If you misplaced it, don't worry. We've developed a shortened version of the questionnaire that will be mailed to you in the next week or so. Your prompt response to this mailing will help us complete this follow-up survey and allow the researchers to begin the data analysis.

If you have questions or need assistance in completing the questionnaire, feel free to call the study office at the University of Minnesota at 612-626-0900.

The U.S. Radiologic Technologists Study is a health study of all current and former radiologic technologists certified by the ARRT in 1980 or earlier. The study researchers are now conducting the Third Survey of these workers to update information regarding health and other risk factors.

Over the past several months questionnaires were mailed to 98,000 current and former ARRT members who completed a previous survey for the USRT Study. So far, approximately 60,000 questionnaires have been completed. We are now sending a shortened version of the questionnaire to encourage people who have not yet responded to do so.

Even if you are retired, or only worked a short time, or are not currently working as a R.T., your completed survey is very important to the study.

Why the study continues

This study provides a unique opportunity to learn about the human health effects of long term exposure to ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation at sufficiently high total doses may increase cancer risk in some, but not all people. Understanding the reasons for this ensures prevention measures that are right for everyone, and advances our overall knowledge of how cancer occurs. The current and former radiologic technologists who make up the USRT study have been incredibly helpful in making this study a success.

To assess health effects like cancer that can take many years to develop, long-term follow-up is needed. The most effective and least costly way to follow participants in the study is through periodic questionnaires. Questionnaires are not perfect. As you will see, they condense a lot of information into a few questions. But when all of the information is combined, the patterns will help answer the important questions.

Advances in science and technology over the past 20 years are leading to a new and better understanding of cancer and other diseases, and their cause. Studies like the USRT Study will continue to provide information to help build on what is known. The questionnaire data are supplemented by recruiting some people to give biological samples, primarily blood samples. This will allow us to examine the role of genetics alone or in conjunction with environmental exposures such as radiation. Over 4,000 study participants have already donated a sample of blood for this part of the study.

Thank you in advance. We look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire.

A few things you may be interested to know about the USRT Study and the Third Survey:

98,250 The number of surveys that were mailed
60,047 The number of current and former radiologic technologists who have responded.
47,464 Number of women who have completed the survey
12,583 Number of men who have completed the survey
95 Age of the oldest person to respond
44 Age of the youngest person to respond
53 Number of US States and territories represented
11,629 Number of survey respondents reporting a diagnosis of cancer
48,418 Number of survey respondents reporting no cancer
1926 Earliest year worked by a respondent
247,209 Number of R.T.s currently registered with ARRT (as of March '05)

Want to stay informed about the progress of the study and study findings?

Go to our website at:

Please contact us…

If your name or address has changed, let us know so we can update our records and ensure that you receive future surveys and newsletters.

If the person to whom this mailing was sent never trained or worked as a radiologic technologist, or if he or she has moved, is deceased, or unable to participate for other reasons, please let us know so we can update our records.

Call or write to the study office, or update your information on-line at the address listed below.

USRT Study
University of Minnesota
MMC 807
420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-626-0900
Fax: 612.626.4837