Occupational Electromagnetic Fields and Leukemia and Brain Cancer: An Update to Two Meta-Analyses

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Abstract

Objective:

To update past meta-analyses on occupational electromagnetic fields (EMF) and adult brain cancer and leukemia.

Methods:

We collected and evaluated all relevant 1993 to 2007 publications. Summary estimates were obtained using various weighting schemes. To explore sources of heterogeneity, study characteristics were examined using regression analysis.

Results:

Overall, for new studies, both brain cancer and leukemia showed small increases in risk estimates, 10% and 13%, respectively. Notably, pooled risk estimates were lower than in past meta-analyses, and leukemia subtypes showed no consistent pattern when past and present meta-analyses were compared.

Conclusions:

The lack of a clear pattern of EMF exposure and outcome risk does not support a hypothesis that these exposures are responsible for the observed excess risk. Findings were not sensitive to assumptions, influential studies, weighting schemes, publication bias, study characteristics, or funding source.

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