Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

High incidence of acute leukemia in the proximity of some industrial facilities in El Bierzo, northwestern Spain. epidem.

Published in: Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2012; 25 (1): 22-30

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The incidence of acute leukemia was estimated in El Bierzo, Spain. Furthermore, an analysis was conducted in order to suggest some etiological clues.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (standardized incidence rate (SIR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Group 1 distance from municipality to high-power lines: < 5 km
Group 2 distance from municipality to high-power lines: ≥ 5 - < 7.5 km
Group 3 distance from municipality to high-power lines: > 7.5 - < 10 km
Group 4 distance from municipality to high-power lines < 10 km and power plant < 7.5 km

Population

Study size

Type Value
Eligible 54
Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

The standardized incidence rate (SIR) for acute leukemia was 5.1 cases per 100,000, surpassing the Spanish, European and world average rates (no data given in the publication). The standardized incidence rate for acute myeloid leukemia in the municipalities situated less than 5 km away from high-power lines was 5.6 cases per 100,000; in a distance less than 7.5 km 3.0 cases per 100,000, and in a distance less than 10 km 4.7 cases per 100,000. Interaction between the distance from a municipality to high-power lines less than 10 km and to a power plant less than 7.5 km was observed.
The analysis of the correlation between the annual standardized incidence rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and air distance to high-power lines or other industrial plants did not show any statistically significant results.

Limitations (acc. to author)

Exposure assessment is based on data at municipality level instead of individual patient data. No measurements of magnetic field strength were conducted. The results can be confounded because occupational exposure is not included in the analysis due to lack of a detailed job history.

Study funded by

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