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Epidemiological Study (case-control study)

Environmental risk factors for sporadic acoustic neuroma (Interphone Study Group, Germany). epidemiol.

By: Schlehofer B, Schlaefer K, Blettner M, Berg G, Bohler E, Hettinger I, Kunna-Grass K, Wahrendorf J, Schüz J
Published in: Eur J Cancer 2007; 43 (11): 1741 - 1747 (PubMed | Journal website)

Aim of study (according to author)
Environmental risk factors for sporadic acoustic neuroma were investigated in a population-based case-control study in Germany.
Background/further details:
This study is part of the INTERPHONE project.
Acoustic neuroma occurs in two forms: a sporadic, mostly unilateral form and a hereditary, mostly bilateral form.
Regular use of cellular phone was defined as at least one incoming or outgoing call per week for 6 months or more.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Estimate of incidence by odds ratio (OR)


groups of exposure:

Reference group 1:  regular mobile phone use: never 
group 2:  regular mobile phone use: ever 
Reference group 3:  time since first regular use: never or < 1 year 
group 4:  time since first regular use: 1 - 4 years 
group 5:  time since first regular use: 5 - 9 years 
group 6:  time since first regular use: ≥ 10 years 
Reference group 7:  life-time number of calls: never use 
group 8:  life-time number of calls: ≤ 1176 
group 9:  life-time number of calls: > 1176 - ≤ 4350 
group 10:  life-time number of calls: > 4350 
Reference group 11:  life-time duration of calls: never use 
group 12:  life-time duration of calls: ≤ 44 hours 
group 13:  life-time duration of calls: > 44 - ≤ 195 hours 
group 14:  life-time duration of calls: > 195 hours 
Reference group 15:  specified occupational exposure: not or not highly exposed 
group 16:  specified occupational exposure: highly exposed 


Further parameters acquired by questionnaire (exposure to ionising radiation and to occupation related loud noise; magnetic resonance imaging examinations of head and neck, occurence of specific diseases such as asthma, hay fever, eczema, hearing loss, tinnitus; smoking habits)

Study size i cases  controls 
number eligible 105368
number participating 97202
rate of participating 89%55%
number available for analysis 97194

Statistical analysis using conditional logistic regression (adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, study center, living in an urban area (≥ 100,000 inhabitants versus & lt; 100,000))

Results/conclusion (according to author)
No increased risk was observed for acoustic neuroma and a regular use of mobile phones. A non-significantly increased risk was found for high occupational RF-EMF, but the analysis was based on very small numbers of highly exposed persons (7 cases and 10 controls).
Exposure to RF-EMF was not associated with the risk of acoustic neuoma.

(Study character: epidemiological study, case-control study)

Study funded by

Related articles i
Glossary: acoustic, acoustic neuroma, analog, bilateral, brain tumor, case-control study, conditional logistic regression, cordless phones, digital, diseases, EMF, epidemiological, exposed, exposure, fever, histologically, incidence, Interphone project, ionising, job exposure matrix, magnetic resonance imaging, matching, mobile communication, mobile phones, noise, occupational exposure, OR, population-based, questionnaire, radiation, RF, risk, risk factors, significantly, socioeconomic status, statistical, tinnitus, transmitters
Exposure: mobile communication system, analog mobile phone, digital mobile phone, occupational exposure, personal exposure, non-EMF exposure

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