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GPs happy with spinal X-ray radiation risk

Fewer than half of GPs worry about the radiation risk from lumbar spinal X-rays, even though they involve 150 times the dose of a chest X-ray, a new study has suggested.

The University of Newcastle's Centre for Health Services Research found GPs mainly referred lower back pain for lumbar spinal X-rays. The results, presented at the Northern Primary Care Research Conference in Durham last month, showed fewer than half of the GPs expressed concerns about radiation exposure, which increases the risk of cancer.

The researchers also found 'few' patients had been told by their GP of the risks.

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