Study type: Epidemiological study

Risk of congenital heart disease due to exposure to common electrical appliances during early pregnancy: a case-control study. epidem.

Published in: Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021; 28 (4): 4739-4748

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in China to investigate the association between exposure to electrical appliances in early pregnancy and the risk of congenital heart disease in the newborns.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 mobile phone use: no
Group 2 mobile phone use: ≥ 1 day per week and ≥ 0.5 hour per day
Reference group 3 television use: no
Group 4 television use: ≥ 1 day per week and ≥ 0.5 hour per day
Reference group 5 computer use: no
Group 6 computer use: ≥ 1 day per week and ≥ 0.5 hour per day
Reference group 7 induction cooker use: no
Group 8 induction cooker use: exposure during cooking
Reference group 9 microwave oven use: no
Group 10 microwave oven use: exposure during operation within 1 m of it
Reference group 11 wearing of a radiation protection suit: no
Group 12 wearing of a radiation protection suit: yes
Reference group 13 daily mobile phone use: no
Group 14 daily mobile phone use: ≤ 3 hours
Group 15 daily mobile phone use: 3 - 5 hours
Group 16 daily mobile phone use: > 5 hours
Reference group 17 daily television: no
Group 18 daily television: ≤ 1 hour
Group 19 daily television: 1 - 2 hours
Group 20 daily television: > 2 hours
Reference group 21 daily computer use: no
Group 22 daily computer use: ≤ 2 hours
Group 23 daily computer use: 2 - 5 hours
Group 24 daily computer use: > 5 hours
Reference group 25 daily induction cooker use: no
Group 26 daily induction cooker use: ≤ 10 min
Group 27 daily induction cooker use: 10 - 20 min
Group 28 daily induction cooker use: > 20 min
Reference group 29 daily microwave oven use: no
Group 30 daily microwave oven use: ≤ 1 min
Group 31 daily microwave oven use: 1 - 2 min
Group 32 daily microwave oven use: > 2 min

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Participants 585 1,754
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Mothers exposed to computers (group 6: OR 1.33; CI 1.03-1.71), induction cookers (group 8: OR 2.79; CI 2.19-3.55), and microwave ovens (group 10: OR 1.53; CI 1.01-2.31) during early pregnancy had a higher risk to give birth to infants with congenital heart disease. Mothers who wore radiation protection suits (group 12: OR 0.67; CI 0.52-0.87) during early pregnancy decreased the risk of congenital heart disease in their newborns. The additive interactions analysis showed that wearing radiation protection suits could lower the risk of induction cooker exposure for congenital heart disease in their newborns (excess risk for interaction (RERI) −1.44, CI −2.48, −0.39).
The authors concluded that exposure to some electrical appliances in early pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of congenital heart disease in the newborns. Wearing a radiation protection suit was associated with a lower risk of congenital heart disease. Women should therefore reduce the usage of electrical appliances before and during pregnancy.

Study funded by

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