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Magnetic Fields and Acute Leukemia in Children With Down Syndrome

Mejia-Arangure, Juan Manuel*; Fajardo-Gutierrez, Arturo*; Perez-Saldivar, Maria Luisa*; Gorodezky, Clara†; Martinez-Avalos, Armando‡; Romero-Guzman, Lina§; Campo-Martinez, Maria Angeles¶; Flores-Lujano, Janet*; Salamanca-Gomez, Fabio∥; Velasquez-Perez, Leora**

doi: 10.1097/
Brief Report

Background: We analyzed effects of exposure to magnetic fields on the expression of acute leukemia in children with Down syndrome (who have a 20-fold higher risk of leukemia).

Methods: We performed a case–control study that included 42 children with both acute leukemia and Down syndrome as cases and 124 healthy children with Down syndrome as controls. We obtained demographic information concerning the children and took spot measurements of magnetic fields at each residence.

Results: The odds ratio for direct measurements of magnetic fields ≥6.00 mG was 3.7 (95% confidence interval = 1.05–13.1).

Conclusion: The association between magnetic fields and leukemia in children with Down syndrome suggests the possibility of a causal role for magnetic fields in the etiology of leukemia among a genetically susceptible subgroup of children.

From the *Epidemiología, Clínica, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional, Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), México; †Inmunogenética, Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos, Secretaría de Salud (SSa), México; ‡Onco-Hematología, Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez, SSa, México; §Hematología, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría, SSa, México; ¶Hematología, Hospital General, Centro Médico Nacional La Raza, IMSS, México; ∥Genética, Hospital de Pediatría Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, IMSS, México; and **Jefatura de Investigación, Instituto Nacional de Neurología, SSa, México.

Submitted 16 December 2005; accepted 17 July 2006.

Supported by Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social grant 2003/162 and in part by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) grant G30670-M and Fondos Sectoriales Salud-2003-C01-102.

Supplemental material for this article is available with the online version of the journal at; click on “Article Plus.”

Correspondence: Juan Manuel Mejia-Arangure, Epidemiología Clínica, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional, Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Quetzal 27 Col Las Arboledas, Atizapán de Zaragoza, Edo de México, 52950 México. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.