Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Overhead electricity power lines and childhood leukemia: a registry-based, case-control study epidem.

Published in: Tumori 2000; 86 (3): 195-198

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in the province of Varese in Italy to investigate the role of exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields generated by overhead power lines on the risk of childhood leukemia.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (relative risk (RR))



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 unexposed: living in a distance > 150 m to the next power line
Group 2 magnetic field strength 0.001 - 0.1 µT
Group 3 magnetic field strength > 0.1 µT
Group 4 magnetic field strength > 0.001 µT


Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 103 412
Participants 101 411
Statistical analysis method:

Results (acc. to author)

20 children (9 cases and 11 controls) lived within 150 m to a power line and were considered exposed. A significantly increased relative risk was observed for all children exposed to a magnetic field of more than 0.001µT. The relative risks for the two subgroups were also increased, but for the highest exposure group (> 0.1µT) not significant.
The authors concluded that the results provide some further evidence of an association between childhood leukemia and exposure of low-frequency electromagnetic fields from overhead power lines.

Study funded by

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