The association between the work-related exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease was studied in participants of the Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins (HARMONY).
Occupations with elevated exposure to extremely low-frequency EMF included, for example, railway workers (4.03 µT), welders (1.12 µT), forest workers (0.76 µT), cashiers (0.45 µT), retail traders (0.34 µT), post office workers (0.31 µT), cooks (0.31 µT), electrical workers (0.31 µT), dental nurses (0.30 µT), chemical engineers (0.28 µT), train dispatchers (0.25 µT), and dentists (0.24 µT).
Data analysis was conducted with the sample stratified by age of onset (≤ 75 vs. > 75 years), gender, and occupational status (manual vs. nonmanual work).
|Reference group 1||level of work-related exposure to magnetic fields: < 0.12 µT|
|Group 2||level of work-related exposure to magnetic fields: ≥ 0.12 - < 0.20 µT|
|Group 3||level of work-related exposure to magnetic fields: ≥ 0.20 µT|
Allover, work-related exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields was not significantly associated with dementia or Alzheimer disease. However, in stratified analyses, medium and high levels of exposure were associated with increased dementia risk in cases with onset by age 75 years and in participants with manual occupations.
The authors conclude that work-related exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields may increase the risk of dementia with an earlier onset and among former manual workers.