Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Pooled analysis of recent studies on magnetic fields and childhood leukaemia epidem.

Published in: Br J Cancer 2010; 103 (7): 1128-1135

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association between extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and childhood leukemia was investigated in a pooled analysis of seven recent studies. Following studies conducted after the pooled analyses of Greenland et al (2000) and Ahlbom et al (2000) were included: Bianchi et al, 2000 (Italy), Schüz et al, 2001 (Germany), Kabuto et al, 2006 (Japan), Lowenthal et al, 2007 (Tasmania/Australia), Malagoli et al, 2010 (Italy), Kroll et al, 2010 (UK), and Wunsch Filho, Brazil (personal communication, 2009).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 magnetic field exposure: < 0.1 µT
Group 2 magnetic field exposure: 0.1 - < 0.2 µT
Group 3 magnetic field exposure: 0.2 - < 0.3 µT
Group 4 magnetic field exposure: ≥ 0.3 µT


Study size

Type Value
Total 10,865
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Results (acc. to author)

Overall, there were 26 out of 10865 cases and 50 out of 12583 controls in the highest exposure category (> 0.3 µT), 11 cases and 30 controls were from the study in Brazil. In the combined results, risk for childhood leukemia increased with increase in exposure, but the estimates were imprecise due to low numbers (OR 1.07, CI 0.81-1.41 for magnetic field exposure 0.1-0.2 µT; OR 1.16, CI 0.69-1.93 for magnetic field exposure 0.2-0.3 µT; and OR 1.44, CI 0.88-2.36 for magnetic field exposure ≥ 0.3 µT). The odds ratios increased somewhat without the most influential study from Brazil.
The results broadly confirm the results of the previous pooled analyses of Greenland et al (2000) and Ahlbom et al (2000). The authors conclude that recent studies on magnetic fields and childhood leukemia do not alter the previous assessment that magnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic.

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