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Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Nov 15;158(10):969-80.

Residential magnetic field exposure and breast cancer risk: a nested case-control study from a multiethnic cohort in Los Angeles County, California.

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Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Some experimental and epidemiologic evidence suggests that residential exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields can increase breast cancer risk. This association was investigated in a nested case-control study of female breast cancer within a cohort of African Americans, Latinas, and Caucasians in Los Angeles County, California. Incident breast cancer was ascertained from 1993 to 1999 by linkage to county and state tumor registries. Controls were selected from a random sample of cohort members without breast cancer at baseline. Exposure was assessed in 1995-2001 by means of wiring configuration coding (an indirect measure of magnetic field exposure that has been associated with increased risk of childhood leukemia in Los Angeles and elsewhere in North America) in all homes occupied over the previous 10 years for 743 cases and 699 controls and by measurement of magnetic fields in the bedroom over a 7-day period for 347 cases and 286 controls. The estimated risk of breast cancer was not higher among women with wiring configuration codes associated with the highest magnetic fields (for a very high current configuration relative to very low, the adjusted odds ratio was 0.76 (95% confidence interval: 0.49, 1.18)). Stronger measured fields were not significantly associated with increased risk. These data suggest that residential magnetic field exposures commonly experienced by US women do not influence risk of breast cancer.

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