Objectives: A summary of epidemiologic evidence regarding the effect of mobile phone use on intracranial tumor risk was obtained by means of a meta-analysis.
Methods: Reports of published studies on mobile phone use and intracranial tumors were sought. Altogether 12 relevant publications were identified from the PubMed database and reference lists of articles. Fixed or random effects analysis was carried out depending on the presence of heterogeneity between studies. Risk estimates were obtained for people who had used mobile phones for the longest periods of time (>5 years in most reports). A pooled estimate was calculated for all intracranial tumors combined and also separately for different histological tumor types. Separate analyses were conducted also based on the tumor location and type of mobile telephone network (NMT or GSM).
Results: Twelve studies with 2780 cases gave a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 0.98 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.83-1.16] for all intracranial tumors related to mobile phone use. For gliomas, the pooled OR was 0.96 (95% CI 0.78-1.18), for meningiomas it was 0.87 (95% CI 0.72-1.05), and for acoustic neuromas it was 1.07 (95% CI 0.89-1.30). Little indication was found for increased risks of analogue or digital phone use or temporal or occipital tumors.
Conclusions: The totality of evidence does not indicate a substantially increased risk of intracranial tumors from mobile phone use for a period of at least 5 years.