Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Are children living near high-voltage power lines at increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia? epidem.

Published in: Am J Epidemiol 2000; 151 (5): 512-515

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study investigating the association between high-voltage power lines and the risk for childhood leukemia in the USA (publication 1894) was reanalyzed. In the present study several components of wire code were examined separately and together to find out whether a measure could be identified that is more predictive of risk of childhood leukemia.

Further details

Children of the former study were included in the present study if they had been living in one home for at least 70 % of the reference period (5 years before diagnosis), and if measurements of the magnetic fields had been performed at the home. Magnetic field exposure was assessed by measuring the distance from the residence to high-voltage power lines and by calculating an exposure index based on distance and relative load for all transmission and three-phase distribution lines within 40 m of a house.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 distance to closest power line: > 40 m, mean magnetic field: 0.091 µT
Group 2 distance to closest power line: 24 - 40 m, mean magnetic field: 0.089 µT
Group 3 distance to closest power line: 15 - 23 m, mean magnetic field: 0.152 µT
Group 4 distance to closest power line: 0 - 14 m, mean magnetic field: 0.207 µT
Reference group 5 distance to closest transmission line: > 40 m, mean magnetic field: 0.103 µT
Group 6 distance to closest transmission line: 24 - 40 m, mean magnetic field: 0.067 µT
Group 7 distance to closest transmission line: 15 - 23 m, mean magnetic field: 0.130 µT
Group 8 distance to closest transmission line: 0 - 14 m, mean magnetic field: 0.279 µT
Reference group 9 distance to closest distribution line: > 40 m, mean magnetic field: 0.092 µT
Group 10 distance to closest distribution line: 24 - 40 m, mean magnetic field: 0.089 µT
Group 11 distance to closest distribution line: 15 - 23 m, mean magnetic field: 0.160 µT
Group 12 distance to closest distribution line: 0 - 14 m, mean magnetic field: 0.208 µT

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 851 825
Evaluable 408 408
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

601 of 816 children lived more than 40 m from a transmission or three-phase primary distribution line.
No association of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia was found neither with distance from the nearest high-voltage power line within 40 m of a residence nor with an exposure index that takes into account the contribution of all nearby power lines. The mean magnetic field levels of the residences increased with decreasing distance to power lines.
The authors concluded that they found no evidence that children living near high-voltage power lines are at increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Study funded by

Comments on this article

Related articles