Study type: Epidemiological study

Extremely Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields and the Risk of Childhood B-Lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in a City With High Incidence of Leukemia and Elevated Exposure to ELF Magnetic Fields. epidem.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2020 [in press]

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in Mexico to investigated the association between extremely low frequency magnetic fields and the risk of childhood B-Lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 magnetic flux density: < 0.2 µT
Group 2 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.2 µT
Reference group 3 magnetic flux density: < 0.2 µT
Group 4 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.2 - < 0.3 µT
Group 5 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.3 µT
Reference group 6 magnetic flux density: < 0.2 µT
Group 7 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.2 - < 0.4 µT
Group 8 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.4 µT
Reference group 9 magnetic flux density: < 0.2 µT
Group 10 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.2 - < 0.5 µT
Group 11 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.5 µT
Reference group 12 magnetic flux density: < 0.2 µT
Group 13 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.2 - < 0.6 µT
Group 14 magnetic flux density: ≥ 0.6 µT

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Contacted 364 505
Participants 297 412
Participation rate 81.6 % 81.5 %
Evaluable 290 407
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

In the present study, the proportion of children exposed to magnetic flux densities ≥0.3μT (14.4% of the cases and 11.3% of the controls) is among the highest reported worldwide.
The highest exposure category for each cutoff value was associated with an increased risk of B‐ALL compared with the corresponding reference groups thereof statistically significant results were observed for the category ≥0.4 μT (group 8: OR 1.87, CI 1.04-3.35) and the category ≥0.6 μT (group 14: OR 2.32, CI 1.10-4.93). Exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields as a continuous variable (per 0.2 μT intervals) was associated with B‐ALL risk (OR 1.06, CI 1.01–1.12).
The authors conclude that exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (evaluated as a continuous variable) was associated with a moderate risk for the children to develop B-ALL. Additionally, an exposure ≥0.4 μT may be associated with the risk of B‐ALL.

Limitations (acc. to author)

A 24‐h measurement may be inadequate to evaluate the effects of long‐term exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields.

Study funded by

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