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Epidemiological Study (case-control study)

Cellular telephone use and risk of acoustic neuroma. epidemiol.

By: Christensen HC, Schüz J, Kosteljanetz M, Poulsen HS, Thomsen J, Johansen C
Published in: Am J Epidemiol 2004; 159 (3): 277 - 283 ( open external web page full article, open external web page PubMed Entry , open external web page Journal web site )

Aim of study (according to author)
The possible association between cellular telephone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma was investigated in this Danish nationwide population-based case-control study.
Background/further details:
The study is part of the INTERPHONE project. Regular use of mobile phone was defined as more than one call per week for 6 months or more.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Estimate of incidence by odds ratio (OR)


  • mobile phone, personal exposure
  • type of exposure: personal
  • assessment by interview (regular use, number of different cell phones, number of calls, use of handset and handsfree set)
  • assessment by calculation (lifetime number of calls, lifetime number of hours of use)
groups of exposure:

Reference group 1:  never used or less than once per week for six month 
group 2:  use regularly 
group 3:  time since first regular use never or rarely used < 1 year 
group 4:  time since first regular use 1-4 year 
group 5:  time since first regular use ≥ 5 year 
group 6:  time since first regular use 5-9 year 
group 7:  time since first regular use ≥ 10 year 
group 8:  first telephone operating system: no information 
group 9:  first telephone operating system: analogue 
group 10:  first telephone operating system: digital 
group 11:  lifetime cumulative number of calls ≤ 2975 
group 12:  lifetime cumulative number of calls > 2975-11500 
group 13:  lifetime cumulative number of calls > 11500 
group 14:  lifetime cumulative hours of use ≤ 167.5 
group 15:  lifetime cumulative hours of use > 167.5-654  
group 16:  lifetime cumulative hours ofuse > 654  
group 17:  cumulative use before diagnosis < 5 years 
group 18:  cumulative use before diagnosis ≥ 5 years (≤ 81.7 hours) 
group 19:  cumulative use before diagnosis ≥ 5 years (> 81.7 hours) 


  • case group
    men and women, aged from 20 to 69 years
    diagnosis: acoustic neuroma, primarily verified by magnetic resonance imaging
    observation period: September 2000 - August 2002
    study location: Denmark
    source of data: Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    exclusion criteria: deceased

  • control group
    selection: population-based
    matching: sex, age, 1:2 (case:control)
Further parameters acquired by interview (hearing loss, tinnitus, education level)

Study size i cases  controls 
number eligible 141332
number contacted 106214
number participating 106212

Confounders: socioeconomic status

Statistical analysis using conditional logistic regression (adjusted for age, sex, residential area, education, marital status, use of hands-free device)

Results/conclusion (according to author)
The results showed no evidence for an association between cellular telephone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma.

(Study character: epidemiological study, case-control study)

Study funded by

  • Danish Cancer Society
  • European Union (EU)/European Commission
  • International Union against Cancer (UICC; Union Internationale Contre le Cancer), Switzerland

Published comments on this article:Related articles i
Glossary: acoustic neuroma, brain tumor, case-control study, cellular telephone, conditional logistic regression, Confounders, epidemiological, evidence, exposure, incidence, Interphone project, magnetic resonance imaging, matching, OR, population-based, risk, socioeconomic status, statistical, surgery, tinnitus
Exposure: mobile phone, personal exposure

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