Epidemiological Study (case-control study)
Cellular phones, cordless phones, and the risks of glioma and meningioma (Interphone Study Group, Germany). epidemiol. By: Schüz J, Bohler E, Berg G, Schlehofer B, Hettinger I, Schlaefer K, Wahrendorf J, Kunna-Grass K, Blettner M
Published in: Am J Epidemiol 2006; 163 (6): 512 - 520 ( PubMed Entry , Journal web site )
Aim of study (according to author)
To examine whether the risk of glioma and meningioma is associated with the use of cellular phones or cordless phones, a population-based case-control study was conducted in Germany.
This study is part of the INTERPHONE project.
Regular use of cellular phone was defined as at least one incoming or outgoing call per week for 6 months or more.
Endpoint/type of risk estimationEstimate of incidence by odds ratio (OR)
groups of exposure:
- mobile communication system, analog mobile phone, digital mobile phone, cordless phone, personal exposure
- type of exposure: personal
- assessment by interview (use of cellular phone, type, starting and cessation date, numbers of call made and received, duration of calls, use of hands-free devices, use of analog or DECT cordless phone, type, starting and stopping dates, location of base station within house)
- assessment by calculation (lifetime number of calls and lifetime hours of cellular phone use)
|Reference group 1: || regular cellular phone use: never |
|group 2: || regular cellular phone use: ever |
|group 3: || time since first regular use: never, < 1 year |
|group 4: || time since first regular use: 1-4 years |
|group 5: || time since first regular use: ≥ 5 years |
|group 6: || time since first regular use: 5-9 years |
|group 7: || time since first regular use: ≥ 10 years |
|Reference group 8: || lifetime number of calls: never use |
|group 9: || lifetime number of calls: ≤ 1176 |
|group 10: || lifetime number of calls: > 1176 ≤ 4350 |
|group 11: || lifetime number of calls: > 4350 |
|Reference group 12: || lifetime duration of calls: never use |
|group 13: || lifetime duration of calls: ≤ 44 |
|group 14: || lifetime duration of calls: > 44 ≤ 195 |
|group 15: || lifetime duration of calls: > 195 |
|Reference group 16: || intensity of use: never |
|group 17: || intensity of use: < 30 minutes/day |
|group 18: || intensity of use: ≥ 30 minutes/day |
|Reference group 19: || duration of calls ≥ 5 years before reference date: never |
|group 20: || duration of calls ≥ 5 years before reference date: < 5 years |
|group 21: || duration of calls ≥ 5 years before reference date: ≥ 5 years, ≤ 34.5 hours |
|group 22: || duration of calls ≥ 5 years before reference date: ≥ 5 years, > 34.5 hours |
|Reference group 23: || cordless phone use: no |
|group 24: || cordless phone use: yes (at home or at work) |
|group 25: || cordless phone use: yes, at work only |
|group 26: || cordless phone use: yes, at home only |
|group 27: || cordless phone use: yes, at home and at work |
|Reference group 28: || time since first cordless phone use: no use or < 5 years |
|group 29: || time since first cordless phone use: 1-4 years |
|group 30: || time since first cordless phone use: ≥ 5 years |
|Reference group 31: || time since first use (cordless and/or cellular phones): no use or < 1 year |
|group 32: || time since first use (cordless and/or cellular phones): 1-4 years |
|group 33: || time since first use (cordless and/or cellular phones): ≥ 5 years |
- case group
men and women, aged from 30 to 69 years
diagnosis: glioma and meningioma, histologically confirmed
observation period: October 2000 - October 2003
study location: Germany (3 study regions)
source of data: neurosurgical clinics in Bielefeld, Heidelberg, Mainz and Mannheim, Germany
exclusion criteria: no histological confirmation, recurrent tumors, insufficient knowledge of the German language, main residence outside the study region
- control group
matching: sex, age, area, 1:2 (case:control)
exclusion criteria: moved out of study region, insufficient knowledge of the German language, main residence outside the study region
|Study size || cases || controls |
|number eligible ||891||2,449|
|number participating ||747||1535|
|rate of participating ||84%||63%|
Other: glioma: 460 cases eligible, 366 participating; meningioma: 431 cases eligible, 381 participating
Statistical analysis using conditional logistic regression (adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, study center, living in a city (≥ 100,000 inhabitants vs. < 100,000))
Results/conclusion (according to author)
The results did not indicate an overall increased risk of glioma or meningioma among regular cellular telephone users. An elevated risk of glioma was observed among persons who had used cellular phones for 10 or more years, but based on small numbers. No association between cordless telephone use and the risks of glioma or meningioma was found. An increased risk of high-grade glioma was observed for women, which might be a chance finding.
Limitations (according to author): The number of cellular phone users for 10 years or more was low and effects of recall bias cannot to be ruled out.
(Study character: epidemiological study, case-control study)
Study funded by
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Glossary: analog, base station, brain tumor, case-control study, cellular phone, conditional logistic regression, cordless telephone, DECT, digital, epidemiological, exposure, glioma, histological, incidence, Interphone project, matching, meningioma, mobile communication, OR, population-based, recall bias, risk, socioeconomic status, statistical, tumors
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