We undertook a re-analysis of the Canadian data from the 13-country case-control Interphone Study (2001-2004), in which researchers evaluated the associations of mobile phone use with the risks of brain, acoustic neuroma, and parotid gland tumors. In the main publication of the multinational Interphone Study, investigators concluded that biases and errors prevented a causal interpretation. We applied a probabilistic multiple-bias model to address possible biases simultaneously, using validation data from billing records and nonparticipant questionnaires as information on recall error and selective participation. In our modeling, we sought to adjust for these sources of uncertainty and to facilitate interpretation. For glioma, when comparing those in the highest quartile of use (>558 lifetime hours) to those who were not regular users, the odds ratio was 2.0 (95% confidence interval: 1.2, 3.4). After adjustment for selection and recall biases, the odds ratio was 2.2 (95% limits: 1.3, 4.1). There was little evidence of an increase in the risk of meningioma, acoustic neuroma, or parotid gland tumors in relation to mobile phone use. Adjustments for selection and recall biases did not materially affect interpretation in our results from Canadian data.
Keywords: bias; bias modeling; brain tumors; cancer; case-control study; head and neck tumors; mobile phones.
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