Aim: To evaluate brain tumour risk among long-term users of cellular telephones.
Methods: Two cohort studies and 16 case-control studies on this topic were identified. Data were scrutinised for use of mobile phone for > or =10 years and ipsilateral exposure if presented.
Results: The cohort study was of limited value due to methodological shortcomings in the study. Of the 16 case-control studies, 11 gave results for > or =10 years' use or latency period. Most of these results were based on low numbers. An association with acoustic neuroma was found in four studies in the group with at least 10 years' use of a mobile phone. No risk was found in one study, but the tumour size was significantly larger among users. Six studies gave results for malignant brain tumours in that latency group. All gave increased odd ratios (OR), especially for ipsilateral exposure. In a meta-analysis, ipsilateral cell phone use for acoustic neuroma was OR = 2.4 (95% CI 1.1 to 5.3) and OR = 2.0, (1.2 to 3.4) for glioma using a tumour latency period of > or =10 years.
Conclusions: Results from present studies on use of mobile phones for > or =10 years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure.