An average kidney patient is receiving the equivalent of 1000 chest x-rays a year - and around 17 per cent are receiving doses so high that they are very likely to contract a fatal form of cancer, say researchers.
A research team from University Hospital in Novara, Italy tracked the health screening procedures of 106 dialysis patients for three years and calculated their radiation exposure.
Thirty-three participants were exposed to high or very high doses of radiation, and a further 17 had doses so high that cancer was a very real possibility.
Most of the screenings were unnecessary, said the researchers, as they resulted in negative results.
(Source: Journal of the American Society Nephrology, 2011, February 24: doi: 10.1681/ASN.2010070784).