Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Residential exposure to electric power transmission lines and risk of lymphoproliferative and myeloproliferative disorders: a case-control study. epidem.

Published in: Intern Med J 2007; 37 (9): 614-619

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association between residence close to high-voltage power lines and the risk of lymphoproliferative disorders or myeloproliferative disorders was investigated in a case-control study in Australia.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Group 1 closest distance ever lived to a power line: > 300 m
Group 2 closest distance ever lived to a power line: 51 - 300 m
Group 3 closest distance ever lived to a power line: 0 - 50 m
Group 4 distance to power line 0 - 300 m: 0 - 15 years of age
Group 5 distance to power line 0 - 300 m: 15 years before diagnosis
Group 6 distance to power line 0 - 300 m: ever versus never
Group 7 distance to power line 0 - 300 m, residence only in Tasmania: 0 - 15 years of age
Group 8 distance to power line 0 - 300 m, residence only in Tasmania: 15 years before diagnosis
Group 9 distance to power line 0 - 300 m, residence only in Tasmania: ever versus never
Group 10 distance to power line 0 - 300 m: 0 - 5 years of age
Group 11 distance to power line 0 - 300 m: 6 - 17 years of age
Group 12 distance to power line 0 - 300 m: ≥ 18 years of age
Group 13 distance to power line 0 - 300 m, residence only in Tasmania: 0 - 5 years of age
Group 14 distance to power line 0 - 300 m, residence only in Tasmania: 6 - 17 years of age
Group 15 distance to power line 0 - 300 m, residence only in Tasmania: ≥ 18 years of age

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Participants 854 854
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

19 patients (2.2 %) and 9 control persons (1.1 %) had ever lived within 50 m to a power transmission line, 75 patients (8.8 %) and 55 control persons (6.5 %) in the distance of 51 to 300 m.
Persons who had ever lived within 50 m to a power transmission line had a non significantly increased risk (OR 2.06, CI 0.87 - 4.91) for developing lymphoproliferative or myeloproliferative disorders compared to the group who had always lived in the distance of more than 300 m. There was also an increased risk (OR 1.30, CI 0.88 - 1.91) associated with having lived 51 to 300 m from a power line. Adults who had lived within 300 m from a power line between birth and 15 years of age had a significantly increased risk (OR 3.23, CI 1.26 - 8.29), persons who had lived within the same distance between birth and 5 years had a higher risk (OR 4.74, CI 0.98 - 22.9). These association were strenghtended for the matched pairs who had only lived in Tasmania.
The authors concluded that the results raise the possibility that prolonged residence close to power transmission lines, especially early in life, may increase the risk of developing lymphoproliferative and myeloproliferative disorders.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The number of subjects available for analysis was small.

Study funded by

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