Electromagnetic field exposure and male breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of 18 studies

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(1):523-8. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.1.523.


Background: The possibility that electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure may increase male breast cancer risk has been discussed for a long time. However, arguments have been presented that studies limited by poor quality could have led to statistically significant results by chance or bias. Moreover, data fo the last 10 years have not been systematically summarized.

Methods and results: To confirm any possible association, a meta-analysis was performed by a systematic search strategy. Totals of 7 case-control and 11 cohort studies was identified and pooled ORs with 95% CIs were used as the principal outcome measures. Data from these studies were extracted with a standard meta-analysis procedure and grouped in relation to study design, cut-off point, exposure assessment method, adjustment and exposure model. A statistical significant increased risk of male breast cancer with EMF exposure was defined (pooled ORs = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.14 -1.52, P < 0.001), and subgroup analyses also showed similar results.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that EMF exposure may be associated with the increase risk of male breast cancer despite the arguments raised.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio