Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Exposure to magnetic fields and survival after diagnosis of childhood leukemia: a German cohort study epidem.

Published in: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007; 16 (6): 1167-1171

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cohort study was conducted in Germany to investigate the association between magnetic field exposure and survival among children with leukemia. The authors intended to test the hypothesis by Foliart et al. whether exposure to magnetic fields, if it is associated with increased incidence, could also have a relationship with survival after diagnosis of childhood leukemia.

Further details

The data of the cohort study were based on the data of three previous German case-control studies (publication 975, publication 1959, and publication 6207). Follow-up information of the patients were collected about events (death, relapse, and second tumor).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (hazard ratio, survival)



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 low magnetic field exposure: < 0.1 µT
Group 2 medium magnetic field exposure: 0.1 - < 0.2 µT
Group 3 high magnetic field exposure: ≥ 0.2 µT


Study size

Type Value
Total 595

median duration of follow-up: 9.5 years

Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Results (acc. to author)

Statistically significant elevated hazard ratios were found for magnetic field exposure between 0.1 and 0.2 µT (based on 34 cases with 9 deaths) and non-significantly elevated for exposure above 0.2 µT (based on 18 cases with 4 deaths). The results support the hypothesis that poorer survival among childhood leukemia patients occurred in children exposed to magnetic fields above 0.2 µT.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The results are based on small numbers. A biological mechanism to explain the findings is not known.

Study funded by

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