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Pooled analysis of recent studies of magnetic fields and childhood leukemia

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BACKGROUND: Over forty epidemiologic studies have addressed an association between measured or calculated extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields (MF) and childhood leukemia. These studies have been aggregated in a series of pooled analyses, but it has been 10 years since the last such.

METHODS: We present a pooled analysis combining individual-level data (24,994 cases, 30,769 controls) from four recent studies on MF and childhood leukemia.

RESULTS: Unlike previous pooled analyses, we found no increased risk of leukemia among children exposed to greater MF: odds ratio (OR) = 1.01, for exposure ≥0.4 μT (μT) compared with exposures <0.1 μT. Similarly, no association was observed in the subset of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, birth homes, studies using calculated fields, or when geocoding accuracy was ignored. In these studies, there is a decline in risk over time, also evident when we compare three pooled analyses. A meta-analysis of the three pooled analyses overall presents an OR of 1.45 (95% CI: 0.95-2.20) for exposures ≥0.4 μT.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results are not in line with previous pooled analysis and show a decrease in effect to no association between MF and childhood leukemia. This could be due to methodological issues, random chance, or a true finding of disappearing effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111993
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume204
Issue numberPt A
Pages (from-to)111993
ISSN0013-9351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Acute Disease, Case-Control Studies, Child, Electromagnetic Fields, Environmental Exposure, Geographic Mapping, Humans, Leukemia/epidemiology, Magnetic Fields, Odds Ratio, Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma, Risk Factors

ID: 74894988