Changes in brain glioma incidence and laterality correlates with use of mobile phones--a nationwide population based study in Israel

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(11):5857-63. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2012.13.11.5857.


Introduction: Mobile phones are in extensive use worldwide and concerns regarding their role in tumor formation were raised. Over the years multiple studies were published in order to investigate this issue using several approaches. The current study looks at secular trends of brain gliomas (low and high grade) incidence and changes in tumor's laterality over 30 years in a population extensively using this technology with a possible correlation to the spread of use of mobile phones.

Materials and methods: All brain gliomas that were diagnosed from 1980-2009 were included and subdivided into two groups--low and high grade. Secular and periodic time trend analyses of incidence rates and changes in laterality were performed. Preferred side of head using mobile phones was assessed with a questionnaire in a sample of adult individuals.

Results: A decrease in incidence of low grade giomas (LGG) that correlated with introduction of mobile technology was found from 2.57, 2.34 and 2.79 for every 100,000 in the period 1980 to the end of 1994 to 1.72, 1.82 and 1.57, respectively, over the last three 5-years periods (1995-2009). High-grade glioma incidences increased significantly from 1980-2009 but in the period after mobile phones were introduced (1994-2009) a lower, non significant, rate of increase was observed in males and a lower one (significant) in females. A shift towards left sided tumor location for all adult gliomas combined and separately for LGG and HGG was noted from 1995 onward. The shift was more marked for those who were diagnosed in ages 20-49 (p=0.03).

Conclusions: We found a statistically significant decrease in LGG's over 30-years period that correlates with introducing of mobile phones technology and a shift in laterality towards left-sided tumors, the latter occurred in both low and high-grade gliomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Glioma / epidemiology*
  • Glioma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult