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Association between parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and childhood nervous system tumors risk: A meta-analysis

Su, Liling, Zhao, Chuning, Jin, Yumin, Lei, Ying, Lu, Liqin, Chen, Guangdi
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.642 pp. 1406-1414
case-control studies, central nervous system, childhood, cohort studies, confidence interval, databases, magnetic fields, meta-analysis, neoplasms, occupational exposure, odds ratio, quantitative analysis, risk
Previous epidemiological studies suggested association between parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and risk of childhood nervous system tumors, but the results were inconsistent. We conducted a meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies to re-evaluate this association.Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed and Web of Science databases as well as by manual searching. Summary odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled with a fixed-effects or random-effects model.A total of 22 eligible articles (21 case-control studies and 1 cohort study) were included for the quantitative analysis. The results showed that parental occupational ELF-MF exposure was significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood nervous system tumors (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.02–1.21), and this association remained in studies on central nervous system (CNS) tumors (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.02–1.27) but not neuroblastoma (OR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.92–1.14). Furthermore, maternal (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.05–1.23) but not paternal (OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.98–1.13) occupational ELF-MF exposure significantly increased risk of childhood nervous system tumors. Increased risk of childhood CNS tumors was significant associated with maternal (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.06–1.26) but not paternal (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.98–1.34) occupational ELF-MF exposure.In conclusion, our results provide limited evidence for the association between maternal occupational exposure to ELF-MF and increased risk of childhood CNS tumors, which should be explained with cautions. Future studies are needed to further evaluate the association of paternal occupational ELF-MF exposure with risk of childhood CNS tumors.