Background and ObjectiveSome epidemiologic studies suggested an association between electromagnetic fields exposure, such as that induced by residence near high-voltage power lines, and childhood leukemia, but null results have also been yielded and the possibility of bias induced by unmeasured confounders has been suggested.Methods We identified the corridors along the high-voltage power lines in the municipalities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, northern Italy, with estimated magnetic fields exposure cutoffs of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.4 µT. We identified all cases of leukemia diagnosed in children (age 0-13) residing in these two municipalities during the 1986-2006 period through a nation-wide hospital-based registry. As a control group, we randomly selected four residents for each case, matched for year of birth, sex and municipality of residence. We collected information about historical residence and about parental educational attainment of all study subjects. We included this information in a GIS database and we calculated the risk of childhood leukemia associated with residence for at least 6 months in the exposed area.Results Among the 47 cases and 188 controls included in the study, only 1 case and 2 controls had an historical residence in the exposed areas. The risk of leukemia associated with antecedent residence in the area with exposure exceeding 0.1 µT was 2.0 (4.16 in the analysis adjusted for parental education), but this estimate was statistically very unstable, its 95% confidence interval being 0.2-22.1.ConclusionThe number of exposed children in this study was too low to allow firm conclusions, suggesting the need to substantially increase the study population. Though on the basis of these results an excess risk of leukemia among children exposed to electromagnetic fields from high-voltage power lines cannot be ruled out, the possibility of no association must also be considered.
Residence near power lines and risk of childhood leukemia in two northern Italy municipalities / Malagoli, Carlotta; Vinceti, Marco; M., Calzari; Fabbi, Sara; Teggi, Sergio; G., Palazzi; Paolucci, Paolo; M., Poli; E., Ballotti; B., Notari; M., Bruni. - In: EPIDEMIOLOGY. - ISSN 1044-3983. - STAMPA. - 20:6(2009), pp. S135-S135. (Intervento presentato al convegno ISEE - International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Annual Conference – Food, Environment and Global Health tenutosi a Dublin, Ireland nel 25-29 August 2009) [10.1097/01.ede.0000362463.86267.75].