Epidemiological study (observational study)

Environmental risk factors for sporadic acoustic neuroma (Interphone Study Group, Germany).

Published in: Eur J Cancer 2007; 43 (11): 1741-1747

Aim of study (acc. to author)

Environmental risk factors for sporadic acoustic neuroma were investigated in a population-based case-control study in Germany.

Further details

This study is part of the INTERPHONE project.
Acoustic neuroma occurs in two forms: a sporadic, mostly unilateral form and a hereditary, mostly bilateral form.
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 estimation

Type of risk estimation:
  • incidence
(odds ratio (OR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Reference group 1 regular mobile phone use: never
Group 2 regular mobile phone use: ever
Reference group 3 time since first regular use: never or < 1 year
Group 4 time since first regular use: 1 - 4 years
Group 5 time since first regular use: 5 - 9 years
Group 6 time since first regular use: ≥ 10 years
Reference group 7 life-time number of calls: never use
Group 8 life-time number of calls: ≤ 1176
Group 9 life-time number of calls: > 1176 - ≤ 4350
Group 10 life-time number of calls: > 4350
Reference group 11 life-time duration of calls: never use
Group 12 life-time duration of calls: ≤ 44 hours
Group 13 life-time duration of calls: > 44 - ≤ 195 hours
Group 14 life-time duration of calls: > 195 hours
Reference group 15 specified occupational exposure: not or not highly exposed
Group 16 specified occupational exposure: highly exposed

Population

  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Age: 30–69 yr
  • Observation period: October 2000 - October 2003
  • Study location: Germany (4 study regions)

Case group

  • Characteristics: acoustic neuroma, histologically confirmed
  • Data source: neurosurgical clinics in Bielefeld, Heidelberg, Mainz and Mannheim, Germany
  • Exclusion criteria: insufficient knowledge of the German language, main residence outside the study region

Control group

  • Selection:
    • population-based
  • Matching:
    • sex
    • age
    • area
    • case:control = 1:2
  • Exclusion criteria: insufficient knowledge of the German language, main residence outside the study region

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 105 368
Participants 97 202
Participation rate 89 55
Evaluable 97 194
Statistical analysis method:
  • conditional logistic regression
( adjustment:
  • age
  • sex
  • socioeconomic status
  • study center, living in an urban area (≥ 100,000 inhabitants versus & lt; 100,000)
)

Conclusion (acc. to author)

No increased risk was observed for acoustic neuroma and a regular use of mobile phones. A non-significantly increased risk was found for high occupational RF-EMF, but the analysis was based on very small numbers of highly exposed persons (7 cases and 10 controls).
Exposure to RF-EMF was not associated with the risk of acoustic neuoma.

Study funded by

  • Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS; Federal Office for Radiation Protection), Salzgitter, Germany
  • Deutsches Mobilfunk Forschungsprogramm (DMF; German Mobile Phone Research Programme) at Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS)
  • MAIFOR Program (Mainzer Forschungsförderungsprogramm) of the University of Mainz, Germany
  • Ministerium für Umwelt und Verkehr, Baden-Württemberg (Ministry for the Environment and Traffic of the state of Baden-Württemberg), Germany
  • Ministerium für Umwelt und Naturschutz, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Ministry for the Environment of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany
  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety), Germany
  • International Union against Cancer (UICC; Union Internationale Contre le Cancer), Switzerland
  • Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources program of European Union

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