Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Risk factors for pediatric tumors of the central nervous system: results from a German population-based case-control study. epidem.

Published in: Med Pediatr Oncol 2001; 36 (2): 274-282

Aim of study (acc. to author)

Two case-control studies on childhood cancer and a variety of potential risk factors (including residential magnetic fields) were conducted in Germany. This publication focused on central nervous tumors whereas further results on other childhood leukemia are presented in Michaelis et al. (1997) and Michaelis et al. (1998).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 exposure to residential magnetic fields, median of 24h-measurement: < 0.2 µT
Group 2 exposure to residential magnetic fields, median of 24h-measurement: ≥ 0.2 µT
Reference group 3 exposure to residential magnetic fields, median during night: < 0.2 µT
Group 4 exposure to residential magnetic fields, median during night: ≥ 0.2 µT
Reference group 5 maternal use of electric blankets during pregnancy: no
Group 6 maternal use of electric blankets during pregnancy: yes

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Contacted 573 3,575
Evaluable 466 2,458
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Only 2 out of 64 cases were exposed to residential magnetic fields of 0.2 µT and more. A non-significantly increased risk of CNS tumors was observed for magnetic field exposure of 0.2 µT and more during the night (OR 2.60, CI 0.45-14.9), however based on 2 cases and 5 controls. There was no association between CNS tumor risk and maternal use of electric blankets during pregnancy.
The authors concluded that their results for residential magnetic fields do not contradict the findings of Kheifets et al. (1999), who found no evidence for an association between childhood brain tumor and exposure to electromagnetic fields.

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