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Proximity to overhead power lines and childhood leukaemia: an international pooled analysis


Amoon, AT and Crespi, CM and Ahlbom, A and Bhatnagar, M and Bray, I and Bunch, KJ and Clavel, J and Feychting, M and Hemon, D and Johansen, C and Kreis, C and Malagoli, C and Marquant, F and Pedersen, C and Raaschou-Nielsen, O and Roosli, M and Spycher, BD and Sudan, M and Swanson, J and Tittarelli, A and Tuck, DM and Tynes, T and Vergara, X and Vinceti, M and Wunsch-Filho, V and Kheifets, L, Proximity to overhead power lines and childhood leukaemia: an international pooled analysis, British Journal of Cancer, 119, (3) pp. 364-373. ISSN 0007-0920 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Cancer Research UK Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41416-018-0097-7


Background: Although studies have consistently found an association between childhood leukaemia risk and magnetic fields, the associations between childhood leukaemia and distance to overhead power lines have been inconsistent. We pooled data from multiple studies to assess the association with distance and evaluate whether it is due to magnetic fields or other factors associated with distance from lines.

Methods: We present a pooled analysis combining individual-level data (29,049 cases and 68,231 controls) from 11 record-based studies.

Results: There was no material association between childhood leukaemia and distance to nearest overhead power line of any voltage. Among children living < 50 m from 200 + kV power lines, the adjusted odds ratio for childhood leukaemia was 1.33 (95% CI: 0.921.93). The odds ratio was higher among children diagnosed before age 5 years. There was no association with calculated magnetic fields. Odds ratios remained unchanged with adjustment for potential confounders.

Conclusions: In this first comprehensive pooled analysis of childhood leukaemia and distance to power lines, we found a small and imprecise risk for residences < 50 m of 200 + kV lines that was not explained by high magnetic fields. Reasons for the increased risk, found in this and many other studies, remains to be elucidated.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Oncology and carcinogenesis
Research Field:Oncology and carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Tuck, DM (Mrs Deirdre Tuck)
ID Code:131681
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-03-29
Last Modified:2019-04-10
Downloads:16 View Download Statistics

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