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Epidemiological study (observational study)

Occupational Magnetic Field Exposure and Neurodegenerative Disease.

Published in: Epidemiology 2003; 14 (4): 413-419

Aim of study (acc. to author)

In this population-based cohort study the possible association between occupational magnetic field exposure and neurodegenerative disease mortality was investigated in Sweden.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:
  • mortality
(relative risk (RR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group 1 ≤ 0.11 µT
Group 2 0.12 - 0.19 µT
Group 3 0.20 - 0.29 µT
Group 4 ≥ 0.30 µT
Group 5 ≥ 0.50 µT

Population

  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Age: 16–98 years
  • Characteristics: Economically active individuals in 1970 or 1980 and alive on 1.1.1981
  • Observation period: 1981 - 1995 or until death (follow-up)
  • Study location: Sweden
  • Data source: Swedish census, death certificate

Study size

Total 4,812,646
Evaluable 21,050
Statistical analysis method:
  • Cox proportional regressions analysis
( adjustment:
  • age
  • socioeconomic status
)

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Alzheimer's disease mortality in men and women was not associated with EMF exposure of 0.3 µT or more. An increased risk was observed in men exposed over 0.5 µT. There was no risk increase for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, regardless of EMF level.

Limitations (acc. to author)

Using death certificates there is no information available about the date of disease onset. Furthermore, missclassification is a problem because neurodegenerative diseases are not always mentioned on the death certificate. Information about occupation was only available for the years 1970 and 1980.

Study funded by

  • Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS)

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