Study type: Epidemiological study

Environmental and Occupational Risk Factors of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. epidem.

Published in: Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020; 17 (8): E2882

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in Italy to investigate the association between occupational and residential exposure to electromagnetic fields and the risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Furthermore several other environmental and occupational factors were considered. In this extraction, only the data on electromagnetic fields are presented.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 exposure to overall electro-magnetic factors: no
Group 2 exposure to overall electro-magnetic factors: yes
Reference group 3 exposure to electric and electronic equipment: no
Group 4 exposure to electric and electronic equipment: yes
Reference group 5 exposure to overall electromagnetic fields: no
Group 6 exposure to overall electromagnetic fields: yes
Reference group 7 having lived near overhead power lines: no
Group 8 having lived near overhead power lines: yes

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Total 230 1,218
Participants 95 135
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields showed a statistically non-significant increased risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (OR 1.69, CI 0.70–4.09). Additionally, a statistically significant increased risk with the proximity of the residence to overhead power lines was found (OR 2.41, CI 1.13–5.12).
The authors concluded that an association between either occupational or environmental exposure to electromagnetic fields and the risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was observed.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The findings, however, need to be interpreted with caution due to small sample size and uncertainties of the mechanisms involved in the etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Study funded by

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