Pooled analysis of two case-control studies on use of cellular and cordless telephones and the risk for malignant brain tumours diagnosed in 1997-2003

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2006 Sep;79(8):630-9. doi: 10.1007/s00420-006-0088-5. Epub 2006 Mar 16.


Objectives: To study the use of cellular and cordless telephones and the risk for malignant brain tumours.

Methods: Two case-control studies on malignant brain tumours diagnosed during 1997-2003 included answers from 905 (90%) cases and 2,162 (89%) controls aged 20-80 years. We present pooled analysis of the results in the two studies.

Results: Cumulative lifetime use for >2,000 h yielded for analogue cellular phones odds ratio (OR)=5.9, 95% confidence interval (CI)=2.5-14, digital cellular phones OR=3.7, 95% CI=1.7-7.7, and for cordless phones OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.5-3.6. Ipsilateral exposure increased the risk for malignant brain tumours; analogue OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.5-2.9, digital OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.4-2.4, and cordless OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.3-2.2. For high-grade astrocytoma using >10 year latency period analogue phones yielded OR=2.7, 95% CI=1.8-4.2, digital phones OR=3.8, 95% CI=1.8-8.1, and cordless phones OR=2.2, 95% CI=1.3-3.9. In the multivariate analysis all phone types increased the risk. Regarding digital phones OR=3.7, 95% CI=1.5-9.1 and cordless phones OR=2.1, 95% CI=0.97-4.6 were calculated for malignant brain tumours for subjects with first use use <20 years of age, higher than in older persons.

Conclusion: Increased risk was obtained for both cellular and cordless phones, highest in the group with >10 years latency period.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Phone / classification
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Telephone* / classification
  • Telephone* / statistics & numerical data