Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields exposure and female breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis based on 24,338 cases and 60,628 controls

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Sep;123(2):569-76. doi: 10.1007/s10549-010-0782-6. Epub 2010 Feb 10.


Exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) has been suggested to increase female breast cancer risk; however, the data have been inconclusive. In order to derive a more precise estimation of the relationship, a meta-analysis was performed. Medline, PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library and Web of Science were searched. Crude ORs with 95% CIs were used to assess the strength of association between ELF-EMF exposure and female breast cancer risk. A total of 15 studies published over the period 2000 to 2009 including 24,338 cases and 60,628 controls were involved in this meta-analysis. The results showed no significant association between ELF-EMF exposure and female breast cancer risk in total analysis (OR = 0.988, 95% CI = 0.898-1.088) and in all the subgroup analyses by exposure modes, menopausal status, and estrogen receptor status. This result is in accordance with the previous meta-analysis carried out by Erren in 2000. In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests that ELF-EMF exposure has no association with the susceptibility of female breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors