Journal Article

Occupational Magnetic Field Exposure and Cardiovascular Mortality in a Cohort of Electric Utility Workers

Jack Sahl, Gabor Mezei, Robert Kavet, Alex McMillan, Abe Silvers, Antonio Sastre and Leeka Kheifets

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 156, issue 10, pages 913-918
Published in print November 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online November 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Occupational Magnetic Field Exposure and Cardiovascular Mortality in a Cohort of Electric Utility Workers

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In electric utility workers, occupational exposure to magnetic fields has previously been associated with mortality from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and arrhythmia but not from chronic coronary heart disease (CCHD) or atherosclerosis. To investigate these health endpoints further, the authors examined mortality from AMI (n = 407) and CCHD (n = 369) in a cohort of 35,391 male workers at the Southern California Edison Company between 1960 and 1992. Exposure was estimated according to duration of employment in occupations associated with high levels of magnetic field exposure and was calculated as cumulative exposure to magnetic fields expressed in micro-Tesla-years. Adjustment was made for age, calendar time, socioeconomic status, race, and worker status (active or inactive). The authors found that men working longer in high-exposure occupations or working as electricians, linemen, or power plant operators had no increased risk of dying from either AMI or CCHD compared with men who never worked in high-exposure occupations. For cumulative exposure, no association was observed with mortality from AMI (rate ratio per 1 µT-year = 1.01, 95% confidence interval: 0.99, 1.02) or CCHD (rate ratio per 1 µT-year = 1.00, 95% confidence interval: 0.99, 1.02). These results, indicating no exposure-related risk increase for AMI mortality, do not confirm previous results.

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; electromagnetic fields; mortality; occupational exposure; Abbreviations: AMI, acute myocardial infarction; CCHD, chronic coronary heart disease; CI, confidence interval; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; ICD-9, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision; RR, rate ratio.

Journal Article.  4306 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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