Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Childhood cancer in relation to distance from high voltage power lines in England and Wales: a case-control study. epidem.

Published in: BMJ 2005; 330 (7503): 1290-1292

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate whether there is an association between distance of home address at birth from high voltage power lines and the incidence of childhood cancer, a case-control study was conducted in England and Wales.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Group 1 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 0-49 metres
Group 2 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 50-99 metres
Group 3 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 100-199 metres
Group 4 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 0-199 metres
Group 5 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 200-299 metres
Group 6 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 300-399 metres
Group 7 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 400-499 metres
Group 8 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 500-599 metres
Group 9 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: 200-599 metres
Reference group 10 distance of address at birth to nearest transmission line: ≥ 600 metres

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 33,000 -
Evaluable 29,081 29,081
Other:

9700 cases of leukaemia

Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

97 % of the cases and controls had an address at the time of birth more than 600 metres from the nearest transmission line. Children who lived at the time of birth within 600 m from a transmission line had an increased relative risk for leukaemia. No increased risk was found for other childhood cancers.

Limitations (acc. to author)

There is no biological acceptable mechanism to explain the results. The relation may be due to chance or confounding.

Study funded by

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