Cell phone use and risk of thyroid cancer: a population-based case-control study in Connecticut

Ann Epidemiol. 2019 Jan;29:39-45. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2018.10.004. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to investigate the association between cell phone use and thyroid cancer.

Methods: A population-based case-control study was conducted in Connecticut between 2010 and 2011 including 462 histologically confirmed thyroid cancer cases and 498 population-based controls. Multivariate unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for associations between cell phone use and thyroid cancer.

Results: Cell phone use was not associated with thyroid cancer (OR: 1.05, 95% CI: 0.74-1.48). A suggestive increase in risk of thyroid microcarcinoma (tumor size ≤10 mm) was observed for long-term and more frequent users. Compared with cell phone nonusers, several groups had nonstatistically significantly increased risk of thyroid microcarcinoma: individuals who had used a cell phone >15 years (OR: 1.29, 95% CI: 0.83-2.00), who had used a cell phone >2 hours per day (OR: 1.40, 95% CI: 0.83-2.35), who had the most cumulative use hours (OR: 1.58, 95% CI: 0.98-2.54), and who had the most cumulative calls (OR: 1.20, 95% CI: 0.78-1.84).

Conclusions: This study found no significant association between cell phone use and thyroid cancer. A suggestive elevated risk of thyroid microcarcinoma associated with long-term and more frequent uses warrants further investigation.

Keywords: Case–control study; Cell phone; Nonionizing radiation; Thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Phone Use / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Glioma / epidemiology
  • Glioma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology