Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Magnetic fields and acute leukemia in children with Down syndrome epidem.

Published in: Epidemiology 2007; 18 (1): 158-161

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in Mexico to investigate the effects of exposure to magnetic fields on the expression of acute leukemia in children with Down syndrome.

Further details

Children with Down syndrome have a 20-fold greater risk for developing acute leukemia.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (odds ratio (OR))



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 magnetic fields: ≤ 0.1 µT
Group 2 magnetic fields: > 0.1 µT
Group 3 magnetic fields: 0.101 - 0.399 µT
Group 4 magnetic fields: 0.400 - 0.599 µT
Group 5 magnetic fields: ≥ 0.600 µT
Group 6 Kaune-Savitz scheme: low
Group 7 Kaune-Savitz scheme: medium
Group 8 Kaune-Savitz scheme: high


Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 42 124
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Results (acc. to author)

An increased risk for acute leukemia was observed for children with Down syndrome and a residential exposure to magnetic fields of 0.6 µT or more. The authors concluded that the association between magnetic fields and acute leukemia in children with Down syndrome suggested the possibility of a causal role for magnetic fields in the etiology of leukemia among a genetically susceptible subgroup of children.

Limitations (acc. to author)

Only spot measurements of magnetic fields were collected.

Study funded by

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