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.
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
- mobile communication system, analog mobile phone, digital mobile phone, personal exposure
- type of exposure: personal
- assessment by interview (mobile phone use, including start and end dates of use, frequency and laterality of use, type of phone, use of hands-free devices, and other factors, such as type of telephone network)
- assessment by calculation (cumulative hours of use based on average number and duration of calls)
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 |
- case group
men and women, aged from 20 to 69 years
observation period: September 1999 - February 2004
study location: Denmark, Finland (excluding Northern Lapland and Aland), Norway (the Southern and Middle parts), Sweden (Umea, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Lund regions), United Kingdom (Thames region of Southeast England)
source of data: neurosurgery, oncology, and neurology departments in the study areas, cancer registries
- control group
selection: population-based, registry-based
matching: sex, age, area
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 || cases || controls |
|number eligible ||1,629||6,581|
|number participating ||1,209||3299|
|rate of participating ||74%||50%|
|number available for analysis ||1,204||2,945|
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
- Academy of Finland
- Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finland
- European Union (EU)/European Commission
- GSM Association, UK/Ireland
- International Union against Cancer (UICC; Union Internationale Contre le Cancer), Switzerland
- Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF), Belgium
- Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR), UK
- Swedish Research Council (VR)
Published comments on this article:
- Carlberg M et al. (2015): Pooled analysis of Swedish case-control studies during 1997-2003 and 2007-2009...
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- Leitgeb N (2014): Synoptic Analysis of Epidemiologic Evidence of Brain Cancer Risks from Mobile...
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Glossary: acoustic neuroma
, brain tumors
, cancer registries
, case-control study
, conditional logistic regression
, Interphone project
, medical history
, mobile communication
, mobile phone
, therapyExposure: mobile communication
system, analog mobile phone
, digital mobile phone
, personal exposure
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