Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
PELISSARI, Daniele Maria; BARBIERI, Flávio Eitor and WUNSCH FILHO, Victor. Magnetic fields and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children: a systematic review of case-control studies. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, suppl.3, pp. S441-S452. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009001500009.
Leukemia incidence in children has increased worldwide in recent decades, particularly due to the rise in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Studies have associated exposure to non-ionizing radiation generated by low frequency magnetic fields with childhood leukemia. The current article reviews the case-control studies published on this subject. Of 152 articles tracked in different databases, ten studies from North America, Asia, and Europe met the defined selection criteria, with patients diagnosed from 1960 to 2004. Methodological limitations were observed in these articles, including difficulties with the procedures for assessing exposure. An association may exist between exposure to low frequency magnetic fields and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, but this association is weak, preventing the observation of consistency in the findings. Future studies from a wider range of geographic regions should focus on the analysis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is the subtype with the greatest impact on the increasing overall incidence of childhood leukemia.
Keywords : Radiation Exposure; Lymphoid Leukemia; Child.