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Epidemiological Study (case-control study)

Meningioma and mobile phone use--a collaborative case-control study in five North European countries. epidemiol.

By: Lahkola A, Salminen T, Raitanen J, Heinävaara S, Schoemaker MJ, Christensen HC, Feychting M, Johansen C, Klaeboe L, Lönn S, Swerdlow AJ, Tynes T, Auvinen A
Published in: Int J Epidemiol 2008; 37 (6): 1304 - 13 (PubMed | Journal website)

Aim of study (according to author)
The collaborative population-based case-control study was conducted in five North European countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Southeast England) to investigate the possible association of meningioma with use of mobile phones.
This study is part of the INTERPHONE project.
Background/further details:
The Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian studies have been published previously (publication 11887, publication 11648, and publication 14543). Furthermore, collaborative analysis of acoustic neuroma (publication 12419) and glioma (publication 14460) based on these studies have been reported previously (publication 12419).
Regular use of a mobile phone was defined as at least once a week for at least six months.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Estimate of incidence by odds ratio (OR)


groups of exposure:

Reference group 1:  never or nonregular use 
group 2:  regular use 
group 3:  years since first use: 1.5 - 4  
group 4:  years since first use: 5 - 9  
group 5:  years since first use: ≥10  
group 6:  lifetime years of use: 0.5 - 4 
group 7:  lifetime years of use: 5 - 9 
group 8:  lifetime years of use: ≥ 10 
group 9:  cumulative number of calls: < 2195 
group 10:  cumulative number of calls: 2195 - 7790 
group 11:  cumulative number of calls: > 7790 
group 12:  cumulative hours of use: < 125 
group 13:  cumulative hours of use: 125 - 514 
group 14:  cumulative hours of use: > 514 
group 15:  cumulative number of calls by time since first use: < 10 years 
group 16:  cumulative number of calls by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (≤ 1537 calls) 
group 17:  cumulative number of calls by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (> 1537 calls) 
group 18:  cumulative hours of use by time since first use: < 10 years 
group 19:  cumulative hours of use by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (≤ 70 hours) 
group 20:  cumulative hours of use by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (> 70 hours) 
group 21:  analogue phone use 
group 22:  digital phone use 
Reference group 23:  nonregular use or contralateral side of tumor and phone use 
group 24:  regular ipsilateral phone use 
group 25:  ipsilateral, years since first use: 1.5 - 4  
group 26:  ipsilateral, years since first use: 5 - 9 
group 27:  ipsilateral, years since first use: ≥ 10  
Reference group 28:  nonregular use or ipsilateral side of tumor and phone use 
group 29:  contralateral, years since first use: 1.5 - 4  
group 30:  contralateral, years since first use: 5 - 9 
group 31:  contralateral, years since first use: ≥ 10  


Further parameters acquired by interview (medical history, education, family history of brain tumors, previous radiation therapy to the head and neck region (received more than 10 years before reference date), past diagnosis of neurofibromatosis or tuberous sclerosis)

Study size i cases  controls 
number eligible 1,6296,581
number participating 1,2093299
rate of participating 74%50%
number available for analysis 1,2042,945

Statistical analysis using conditional logistic regression (adjusted for 5-year age group, sex, region, country)

Results/conclusion (according to author)
No evidence of increased risk of meningioma in relation to use of mobile phones was found. Regular use, years since first use, lifetime years of use and cumulative number of calls were not associated with an increased risk. No increased risk was found in relation to ipsilateral use or use of analogue and digital mobile phones.
The authors concluded that the findings do not suggest that mobile phone use is associated with an increased risk of meningioma.

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

Study funded by

Published comments on this article:Related articles i
Glossary: acoustic neuroma, analogue, brain tumors, cancer registries, case-control study, conditional logistic regression, cumulative, diagnosis, digital, epidemiological, evidence, exposure, frequency, glioma, incidence, Interphone project, ipsilateral, laterality, matching, medical history, meningioma, mobile communication, mobile phone, neurology, oncology, OR, population-based, radiation, risk, sclerosis, statistical, therapy
Exposure: mobile communication system, analog mobile phone, digital mobile phone, personal exposure

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