Extremely Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields and the Risk of Childhood B-Lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in a City With High Incidence of Leukemia and Elevated Exposure to ELF Magnetic Fields

Núñez-Enríquez JC, Correa-Correa V, Flores-Lujano J, et al. Extremely Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields and the Risk of Childhood B-Lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in a City With High Incidence of Leukemia and Elevated Exposure to ELF Magnetic Fields [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 23]. Bioelectromagnetics. 2020;10.1002/bem.22295. doi:10.1002/bem.22295

Abstract

It is important to study the relationship between extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) and childhood leukemia, particularly in locations with a high incidence of this neoplasm in children and an elevated exposure to ELF-MF, such as Mexico City. The aim was to investigate the association between ELF-MF exposure and the risk of B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). A case-control study was conducted in Mexico City during the period from 2010 to 2011. Residential 24-h ELF-MF measurements were obtained for 290 incident B-ALL patients and 407 controls, aged less than 16 years. Controls were frequency-matched by sex, age (±18 months), and health institution. The adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. ELF-MF exposure at <0.2 μT was used to define the reference group. ELF-MF exposure at ≥0.3 μT was observed in 11.3% of the controls. Different ELF-MF intensity cutoff values were used to define the highest exposure category; the highest exposure category for each cutoff value was associated with an increased risk of B-ALL compared with the corresponding lower exposure categories. The aORs were as follows: ≥0.2 μT = 1.26 (95% CI: 0.84-1.89); ≥0.3 μT = 1.53 (95% CI: 0.95-2.48); ≥0.4 μT = 1.87 (95% CI: 1.04-3.35); ≥0.5 μT = 1.80 (95% CI 0.95-3.44); ≥0.6 μT = 2.32 (95% CI: 1.10-4.93). ELF-MF exposure as a continuous variable (per 0.2 μT intervals) was associated with B-ALL risk (aOR = 1.06; 95% CI: 1.01-1.12). In the present study, the proportion of children exposed to ≥0.3 μT is among the highest reported worldwide. Additionally, an ELF-MF exposure ≥0.4 μT may be associated with the risk of B-ALL. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2020 Bioelectromagnetics Society.

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