Use of electric bedding devices and risk of breast cancer in African-American women

Kangmin Zhu*, Sandra Hunter, Kathleen Payne-Wilks, Chanel L. Roland, Digna S. Forbes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this case-control study, the authors aimed to examine whether use of an electric bedding device increased breast cancer risk in African-American women. Cases were 304 African-American patients diagnosed with breast cancer during 1995-1998 who were aged 20-64 years and lived in one of three Tennessee counties. Controls were 305 African-American women without breast cancer who were selected through random digit dialing and frequency-matched to cases by age and county. Information on the use of an electric blanket or heated water bed and other risk factors was collected through telephone interviews. Breast cancer risk associated with use of an electric bedding device increased with the number of years of use, the number of seasons of use, and the length of time of use during sleep. When women who used an electric bedding device for more than 6 months per year (and therefore were more likely to have used a heated water bed, which generates lower magnetic fields) were excluded, the corresponding dose-response relations were more striking. Similar trends in dose response were shown in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women and for both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tumors. The use of electric bedding devices may increase breast cancer risk in African-American women aged 20-64 years. Such an association might not vary substantially by menopausal status or estrogen receptor status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-806
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bedding and linens
  • Blacks
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Case-control studies
  • Electromagnetic fields
  • Women


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