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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2010;11(2):423-7.

Living near overhead high voltage transmission power lines as a risk factor for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a case-control study.

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Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


This study aimed to investigate association of living near high voltage power lines with occurrence of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Through a case-control study 300 children aged 1-18 years with confirmed ALL were selected from all referral teaching centers for cancer. They interviewed for history of living near overhead high voltage power lines during at least past two years and compared with 300 controls which were individually matched for sex and approximate age. Logistic regression, chi square and paired t-tests were used for analysis when appropriate. The case group were living significantly closer to power lines (P<0.001). More than half of the cases were exposed to two or three types of power lines (P<0.02). Using logistic regression, odds ratio of 2.61 (95%CI: 1.73 to 3.94) calculated for less than 600 meters far from the nearest lines against more than 600 meters. This ratio estimated as 9.93 (95%CI: 3.47 to 28.5) for 123 KV, 10.78 (95%CI: 3.75 to 31) for 230 KV and 2.98 (95%CI: 0.93 to 9.54) for 400 KV lines. Odds of ALL decreased 0.61 for every 600 meters from the nearest power line. This study emphasizes that living close to high voltage power lines is a risk for ALL.

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