A case-case study of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma risk in Japan

Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Feb;32(2):85-93. doi: 10.1002/bem.20616. Epub 2010 Oct 28.


Results of case-control studies of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma have been inconsistent. We conducted a case-case study of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma using a self-administered postal questionnaire. A total of 1589 cases identified in 22 hospitals throughout Japan were invited to participate, and 787 cases (51%) actually participated. Associations between laterality of mobile phone use prior to the reference dates (1 and 5 years before diagnosis) and tumor location were analyzed. The overall risk ratio was 1.08 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.93-1.28) for regular mobile phone use until 1 year before diagnosis and 1.14 (95% CI, 0.96-1.40) for regular mobile phone use until 5 years before diagnosis. A significantly increased risk was identified for mobile phone use for >20 min/day on average, with risk ratios of 2.74 at 1 year before diagnosis, and 3.08 at 5 years before diagnosis. Cases with ipsilateral combination of tumor location and more frequently used ear were found to have tumors with smaller diameters, suggesting an effect of detection bias. Furthermore, analysis of the distribution of left and right tumors suggested an effect of tumor-side-related recall bias for recall of mobile phone use at 5 years before diagnosis. The increased risk identified for mobile phone users with average call duration >20 min/day should be interpreted with caution, taking into account the possibilities of detection and recall biases. However, we could not conclude that the increased risk was entirely explicable by these biases, leaving open the possibility that mobile phone use increased the risk of acoustic neuroma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / diagnosis
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / epidemiology*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / etiology*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / pathology
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Burden