Increased mortality in amateur radio operators due to lymphatic and hematopoietic malignancies

Am J Epidemiol. 1988 Jan;127(1):50-4. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a114790.


To search for potentially carcinogenic effects of electromagnetic field exposures, the author conducted a population-based study of mortality in US amateur radio operators. Ascertainment of Washington State and California amateur radio operators (67,829 persons) was done through the 1984 US Federal Communications Commission Amateur Radio Station and/or Operator License file. A total of 2,485 deaths were located for the period from January 1, 1979 through December 31, 1984, in a population of amateur radio operators which accumulated 232,499 person-years at risk. The all-cause standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 71, but a statistically significant increased mortality was seen for cancers of the other lymphatic tissues (SMR = 162), a rubric which includes multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. The all-leukemia standardized mortality ratio was slightly, but nonsignificantly, elevated (SMR = 124). However, mortality due to acute myeloid leukemia was significantly elevated (SMR = 176).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena / adverse effects*
  • Hobbies*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / mortality*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / mortality
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / mortality
  • Lymphoma / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / mortality
  • Radio*
  • Risk Factors
  • Washington