Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Epidemiol. 1995 Sep 1;142(5):515-24.

Occupations with exposure to electromagnetic fields: a possible risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


The authors present analyses of data from three independent clinical series and controls indicating an association between working in occupations with probable medium to high exposure to extremely low frequency (< 300 Hz) electromagnetic fields and sporadic Alzheimer's disease. Case-control analyses were carried out using data from patients examined at the following locations: the Department of Neurology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, 1982-1985; the Koskela Hospital in Helsinki, 1977-1978; and the University of Southern California site of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, 1984-1993. The predominant occupations among medium (2-10 mG or > 10 mG intermittently) to high (> 10 mG or > 100 mG intermittently) exposed cases were seamstress, dressmaker, and tailor. The results appear to be independent of education, and the sex-combined odds ratios for the three series are quite homogeneous: 2.9, 3.1, and 3.0. The odds ratio for the three series analyzed together is 3.0 (p < 0.001), with a 95% confidence interval of 1.6-5.4. The odds ratio for women is 3.8 (p < 0.001), with a 95% confidence interval of 1.7-8.6. The most obvious, possibly etiologically relevant exposure is that of electromagnetic fields, which may have biologic plausibility because they may adversely influence calcium homeostasis and/or inappropriately activate immune system cells such as microglial cells, initiating events that result in neuronal degeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center