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Childhood cancer and nuclear power plants in Switzerland: a census-based cohort study


Spycher, B D; Feller, M; Zwahlen, M; Röösli, M; von der Weid, N X; Hengartner, H; Egger, M; Kuehni, C E (2011). Childhood cancer and nuclear power plants in Switzerland: a census-based cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 40(5):1247-1260.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies on childhood cancer and nuclear power plants (NPPs) produced conflicting results. We used a cohort approach to examine whether residence near NPPs was associated with leukaemia or any childhood cancer in Switzerland.
METHODS:

We computed person-years at risk for children aged 0-15 years born in Switzerland from 1985 to 2009, based on the Swiss censuses 1990 and 2000 and identified cancer cases from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry. We geo-coded place of residence at birth and calculated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing the risk of cancer in children born <5 km, 5-10 km and 10-15 km from the nearest NPP with children born >15 km away, using Poisson regression models.
RESULTS:

We included 2925 children diagnosed with cancer during 21 117 524 person-years of follow-up; 953 (32.6%) had leukaemia. Eight and 12 children diagnosed with leukaemia at ages 0-4 and 0-15 years, and 18 and 31 children diagnosed with any cancer were born <5 km from a NPP. Compared with children born >15 km away, the IRRs (95% CI) for leukaemia in 0-4 and 0-15 year olds were 1.20 (0.60-2.41) and 1.05 (0.60-1.86), respectively. For any cancer, corresponding IRRs were 0.97 (0.61-1.54) and 0.89 (0.63-1.27). There was no evidence of a dose-response relationship with distance (P > 0.30). Results were similar for residence at diagnosis and at birth, and when adjusted for potential confounders. Results from sensitivity analyses were consistent with main results.
CONCLUSIONS:

This nationwide cohort study found little evidence of an association between residence near NPPs and the risk of leukaemia or any childhood cancer.

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies on childhood cancer and nuclear power plants (NPPs) produced conflicting results. We used a cohort approach to examine whether residence near NPPs was associated with leukaemia or any childhood cancer in Switzerland.
METHODS:

We computed person-years at risk for children aged 0-15 years born in Switzerland from 1985 to 2009, based on the Swiss censuses 1990 and 2000 and identified cancer cases from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry. We geo-coded place of residence at birth and calculated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing the risk of cancer in children born <5 km, 5-10 km and 10-15 km from the nearest NPP with children born >15 km away, using Poisson regression models.
RESULTS:

We included 2925 children diagnosed with cancer during 21 117 524 person-years of follow-up; 953 (32.6%) had leukaemia. Eight and 12 children diagnosed with leukaemia at ages 0-4 and 0-15 years, and 18 and 31 children diagnosed with any cancer were born <5 km from a NPP. Compared with children born >15 km away, the IRRs (95% CI) for leukaemia in 0-4 and 0-15 year olds were 1.20 (0.60-2.41) and 1.05 (0.60-1.86), respectively. For any cancer, corresponding IRRs were 0.97 (0.61-1.54) and 0.89 (0.63-1.27). There was no evidence of a dose-response relationship with distance (P > 0.30). Results were similar for residence at diagnosis and at birth, and when adjusted for potential confounders. Results from sensitivity analyses were consistent with main results.
CONCLUSIONS:

This nationwide cohort study found little evidence of an association between residence near NPPs and the risk of leukaemia or any childhood cancer.

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27 citations in Web of Science®
33 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:11 Mar 2012 12:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:43
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0300-5771
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyr115
PubMed ID:21750009
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-60942

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