Residential Magnetic Fields & Risk of Bca


Residential Magnetic Fields and the Risk of Breast Cancer

Scott Davis1,2, Dana K. Mirick1 and Richard G. Stevens3

1 Program In Epidemiology, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. 2 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT.

Chronic exposure to 60-Hz magnetic fields may increase the risk of breast cancer by suppressing the normal nocturnal production of melatonin. This population-based case-control study investigated whether such exposure is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women aged 2074 years from the greater Seattle, Washington, area.

Cases were diagnosed between November 1992 and March 1995 (n = 813); controls were identified by random digit dialing and were frequency matched by 5-year age groups (n = 793).

Exposure was estimated using magnetic field measurements in the home at diagnosis, wiring configuration of all homes occupied in the 10 years prior to diagnosis, and self-reported measures of at-home electric appliance use. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using conditional logistic regression with adjustment for other potential risk factors. Risk did not increase with measured nighttime bedroom magnetic field level, wiring configuration of the home at diagnosis, weighted summary wire codes of all homes occupied 5 and 10 years prior to diagnosis, or reported use of common household appliances, including bed-warming devices.

These data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to residential magnetic fields is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 155, No. 5 : 446-454 Copyright 2002 by The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health

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