Study type: Epidemiological study

Residential distance from high-voltage overhead power lines and risk of Alzheimer's dementia and Parkinson's disease: a population-based case-control study in a metropolitan area of Northern Italy. epidem.

Published in: Int J Epidemiol 2019; 48 (6): 1949-1957

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in Italy to evaluate the possible association between exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields generated by high-voltage overhead power lines and Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Further details

To test the validity of the study design, a further group of cases and controls has been introduced to study the association between exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and diabetes mellitus, for which there is currently no evidence in the literature.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Group 1 distance between residence and power line: < 50 m
Group 2 distance between residence and power line: 50 - 199 m
Group 3 distance between residence and power line: 200 - 599 m
Reference group 4 distance between residence and power line: ≥ 600 m

Population

Case group

Control group

Other:

9,835 persons with Alzheimer's disease and 39,340 controls, 6,810 persons with Parkinson's disease and 27,240 controls

Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Statistically non-significant slightly increased risks were observed for Alzheimer's disease (OR 1.11, CI 0.95-1.30) or for Parkinson’s disease (OR 1.09, CI 0.92–1.30) in residents living < 50 m to high voltage power lines compared to residents at a distance ≥ 600 m.
The overlap of the results obtained in relation to diabetes mellitus compared with those already reported in the literature (no association with exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and strong association with socio-economic deprivation) confirms the overall soundness of the study design used.
The authors conclude that the finding of a weak association between exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and neurodegenerative diseases suggests the continuation of research on this topic.

Study funded by

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