Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-60942

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.

Published Version

View at publisher


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.


21 citations in Web of Science®
27 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



82 downloads since deposited on 11 Mar 2012
64 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

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
Deposited On:11 Mar 2012 12:39
Last Modified:04 Dec 2013 11:36
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Publisher DOI:10.1093/ije/dyr115
PubMed ID:21750009

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page