Occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and cardiovascular disease mortality in a prospective cohort study

Tom Koeman, Pauline Slottje, Hans Kromhout, Leo J. Schouten, R. Alexandra Goldbohm, Piet A. van den Brandt, Roel Vermeulen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Web of Science)


Objectives Although a study among utility workers found an increased risk for acute myocardial infarction and arrhythmia-related deaths associated with occupational extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) exposure, later studies largely failed to replicate these findings. This study investigated the association between occupational ELF-MF exposure and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality within a community-based prospective cohort study. Methods The Netherlands Cohort Study is a prospective cohort study among 120 852 men and women aged 55-69 years at baseline. Participants were followed-up for CVD mortality over a period of 10 years, resulting in 8200 CVD deaths. Information on occupational history and potential confounders, such as educational level, smoking and alcohol use were collected at baseline through a self-administered questionnaire. Occupational ELF-MF exposure was assigned using a job-exposure matrix. Associations with CVD mortality were analysed using Cox regression. Results Ever low or high exposure to ELF-MF showed no association with total CVD mortality (HR of 1.02, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.06), nor with any cause-specific subtypes of CVD mortality. Other ELF-MF exposure metrics showed no increased risks either. Conclusions In this study, we found no indication of an association between occupational ELF-MF exposure and risk of CVD mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-407
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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