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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 years
  • 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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