A pooled analysis of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and childhood brain tumors

Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Oct 1;172(7):752-61. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq181. Epub 2010 Aug 9.

Abstract

Pooled analyses may provide etiologic insight about associations between exposure and disease. In contrast to childhood leukemia, no pooled analyses of childhood brain tumors and exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) have been conducted. The authors carried out a pooled analysis based on primary data (1960-2001) from 10 studies of ELF-MF exposure and childhood brain tumors to assess whether the combined results, adjusted for potential confounding, indicated an association. The odds ratios for childhood brain tumors in ELF-MF exposure categories of 0.1-<0.2 μT, 0.2-<0.4 μT, and ≥0.4 μT were 0.95 (95% confidence interval: 0.65, 1.41), 0.70 (95% CI: 0.40, 1.22), and 1.14 (95% CI: 0.61, 2.13), respectively, in comparison with exposure of <0.1 μT. Other analyses employing alternate cutpoints, further adjustment for confounders, exclusion of particular studies, stratification by type of measurement or type of residence, and a nonparametric estimate of the exposure-response relation did not reveal consistent evidence of increased childhood brain tumor risk associated with ELF-MF exposure. These results provide little evidence for an association between ELF-MF exposure and childhood brain tumors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Child
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors