Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Childhood leukaemia close to high-voltage power lines--the Geocap study, 2002-2007. epidem.

Published in: Br J Cancer 2013; 108 (9): 1899-1906

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in France to investigate the hypothesis of an increased acute leukemia incidence in children living close to power lines (225-400 kV and 63-150 kV).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 residence in a commune entirely located ≥ 600m from a power line
Group 2 distance to the closest power line: ≥ 600 m
Group 3 distance to the closest power line: 200 - 599 m
Group 4 distance to the closest power line: 100 - 199 m
Group 5 distance to the closest power line: 50 - 99 m
Group 6 distance to the closest power line: 0 - 49 m

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 2,779 30,000
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

An increased risk was observed for the occurrence of childhood acute leukemia and living within 50 m of a power line of 250-400 kV (OR 1.7, CI 0.9-3.6, based on 9 cases and 60 controls). In contrast, there was no association with living beyond that distance from a power line of 250-400 kV or within 50 m of a power line of 63-150 kV.
The authors conclude that the present study, free from any selection bias, supports the previous international findings of an increase in acute childhood leukemia incidence close to power lines of 225-400 kV. In order to investigate for a potential role of extremely low frequency magnetic fields in the results, extremely low frequency magnetic fields at the residences close to power lines are to be estimated, using models based on the annual current loads and local characteristics.

Study funded by

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