Does cell phone use increase the chances of parotid gland tumor development? A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Oral Pathol Med. 2017 Aug;46(7):480-483. doi: 10.1111/jop.12531. Epub 2017 Jan 24.


Background: Prior epidemiological studies had examined the association between cell phone use and the development of tumors in the parotid glands. However, there is no consensus about the question of whether cell phone use is associated with increased risk of tumors in the parotid glands. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the existing literature about the mean question and to determine their statistical significance.

Methods: Primary association studies. Papers that associated cell phone use and parotid gland tumors development were included, with no restrictions regarding publication date, language, and place of publication. Systematic literature search using PubMed, SciELO and Embase followed by meta-analysis.

Results and conclusion: Initial screening included 37 articles, and three were included in meta-analysis. Using three independent samples including 5087 subjects from retrospective case-control studies, cell phone use seems to be associated with greater odds (1.28, 95%- confidence interval: 1.09-1.51) to develop salivary gland tumor. Results should be read with caution due to the limited number of studies available and their retrospective design.

Keywords: cell phone; meta-analysis; non-ionizing radiation; parotid gland; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone Use / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parotid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors