Journal Article

Use of Electric Bedding Devices and Risk of Breast Cancer in African-American Women

Kangmin Zhu, Sandra Hunter, Kathleen Payne-Wilks, Chanel L. Roland and Digna S. Forbes

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 8, pages 798-806
Published in print October 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online October 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Use of Electric Bedding Devices and Risk of Breast Cancer in African-American Women

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In this case-control study, the authors aimed to examine whether use of an electric bedding device increased breast cancer risk in African-American women. Cases were 304 African-American patients diagnosed with breast cancer during 1995–1998 who were aged 20–64 years and lived in one of three Tennessee counties. Controls were 305 African-American women without breast cancer who were selected through random digit dialing and frequency-matched to cases by age and county. Information on the use of an electric blanket or heated water bed and other risk factors was collected through telephone interviews. Breast cancer risk associated with use of an electric bedding device increased with the number of years of use, the number of seasons of use, and the length of time of use during sleep. When women who used an electric bedding device for more than 6 months per year (and therefore were more likely to have used a heated water bed, which generates lower magnetic fields) were excluded, the corresponding dose-response relations were more striking. Similar trends in dose response were shown in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women and for both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tumors. The use of electric bedding devices may increase breast cancer risk in African-American women aged 20–64 years. Such an association might not vary substantially by menopausal status or estrogen receptor status.

Keywords: bedding and linens; blacks; breast neoplasms; case-control studies; electromagnetic fields; women; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; EMF(s), electromagnetic field(s); ER, estrogen receptor; SES, socioeconomic status.

Journal Article.  6527 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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