Evaluation of neonatal outcomes according to the specific absorption rate values of phones used during pregnancy

J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2024 Mar 6;25(1):7-12. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2023.2022-10-1. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The aim was to compare neonatal outcomes according to cell phone specific absorption rate (SAR) levels and daily time spent on cell phones by pregnant women.

Material and methods: Women who gave birth at Konya City Hospital between September 2020 and February 2021 were included in this retrospective study. Gestational ages, birth weight, birth length, head circumference, sex, 5-minute APGAR scores, neonate postpartum resuscitation requirement, delivery type, the model of phone used by the pregnant women, and the average time spent on the phone during a day were recorded. To determine the relation between the SAR values of the phones used and delivering a small for gestational age (SGA) baby, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed.

Results: In total 1495 pregnant women were included. The rate of delivering a SGA fetus was significantly higher in women who used phones with higher SAR values (p=0.001). The cut-off value for the SAR level was 1.23 W/kg with 69.3% sensitivity and 73.0% specificity (area under the curve: 0.685; 95% confidence interval: 0.643-0.726). No correlation was found between time spent on the phone and SGA birth rate. Although both phone SAR values and time spent on the phone were higher in the symmetrical SGA group compared to the asymmetrical SGA group, the difference was not significant (p>0.05). Although the women who had preterm delivery had higher phone SAR values and had spent more time on the phone compared to those who had term deliveries, the difference was again not significant (p>0.05).

Conclusion: As the SAR values of cell phones used during pregnancy increased, there was a trend towards delivering a SGA baby.

Keywords: Radiofrequency electromagnetic field; newborn; pregnancy; small for gestational age; specific absorption rate.