Occupational electric and magnetic field exposure and leukemia. A meta-analysis

J Occup Environ Med. 1997 Nov;39(11):1074-91. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199711000-00008.


We conducted a meta-analysis to acquire an understanding of the association between leukemia and occupational exposure to electric and magnetic fields. To explore sources of heterogeneity, study characteristics were scored and examined using regression analysis. While most studies present a small elevation in risk, the apparent lack of a clear pattern of exposure to EMF and risk of leukemia substantially detracts from the hypothesis that measured magnetic fields in the work environment are responsible for the observed excess risk of leukemia. Findings were not sensitive to assumptions, influence of individual studies, weighting schemes, and modeling. Some evidence of publication bias is noted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leukemia / epidemiology*
  • Leukemia / etiology
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries / epidemiology
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology