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Epidemiological study

A meta-analysis on residential exposure to magnetic fields and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Published in: Rev Environ Health 2018 [in press]

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the association between residential exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Further details

Following 5 studies were included: Huss et al. (2009), Marcilio et al. (2011), Frei et al. (2013), Seelen et al. (2014) and Vinceti et al. (2017).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Exposure groups

Reference group 1 distance between residence and power line: ≥ 200 m
Group 2 distance between residence and power line: < 200 m
Reference group 3 magnetic flux density: ≤ 0.1 µT
Group 4 magnetic flux density: > 0.1 µT

Population

  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Characteristics: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Observation period: 1994 - 2013
  • Study location: Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Brasil
Statistical analysis method:
  • heterogeneity test, fixed-effect model, Funnel plot

Conclusion (acc. to author)

No increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was observed (pooled RR: 0.71, CI 0.48-1.07) for the most exposed population group (27 cases either living < 200  m distance from high voltage power lines or magnetic flux density > 0.1 μT). Little heterogeneity and no indication for publication bias was seen.
The authors concluded that no evidence for an association between residential exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was found, although the number of exposed cases was low.

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

Related articles

  • Vinceti M et al. (2017): Magnetic fields exposure from high-voltage power lines and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in two Italian populations.
  • Seelen M et al. (2014): Residential exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and the risk of ALS.
  • Frei P et al. (2013): Residential Distance to High-voltage Power Lines and Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases: a Danish Population-based Case-Control Study.
  • Marcilio I et al. (2011): Adult mortality from leukemia, brain cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and magnetic fields from power lines: a case-control study in Brazil.
  • Huss A et al. (2009): Residence near power lines and mortality from neurodegenerative diseases: longitudinal study of the Swiss population.