Occupational exposure to magnetic fields and electric shocks and risk of ALS: The Swiss National Cohort

Huss, Anke; Spoerri, Adrian; Egger, Matthias; Kromhout, Hans; Vermeulen, Roel (2015). Occupational exposure to magnetic fields and electric shocks and risk of ALS: The Swiss National Cohort. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 16(1-2), pp. 80-85. Taylor & Francis 10.3109/21678421.2014.954588

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been associated with exposures in so-called 'electrical occupations'. It is unclear if this possible link may be explained by exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) or by electrical shocks. We evaluated ALS mortality in 2000-2008 and exposure to ELF-MF and electrical shocks in the Swiss National Cohort, using job exposure matrices for occupations at censuses 1990 and 2000. We compared 2.2 million workers with high or medium vs. low exposure to ELF-MF and electrical shocks using Cox proportional hazard models. Results showed that mortality from ALS was higher in people who had medium or high ELF-MF exposure in both censuses (HR 1.55 (95% CI 1.11-2.15)), but closer to unity for electrical shocks (HR 1.17 (95% CI 0.83-1.65)). When both exposures were included in the same model, the HR for ELF-MF changed little (HR 1.56), but the HR for electric shocks was attenuated to 0.97. In conclusion, there was an association between exposure to ELF-MF and mortality from ALS among workers with a higher likelihood of long-term exposure.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Huss, Anke; Spörri, Adrian and Egger, Matthias


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Taylor & Francis




Beatrice Minder Wyssmann

Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2014 07:25

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2017 06:19

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Amyotrophic, lateral sclerosis, electric shocks, magnetic fields, occupational exposure





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