Epidemiological study (observational study)

Meningioma and mobile phone use--a collaborative case-control study in five North European countries.

Published in: Int J Epidemiol 2008; 37 (6): 1304-13

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The collaborative population-based case-control study was conducted in five North European countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Southeast England) to investigate the possible association of meningioma with use of mobile phones.
This study is part of the INTERPHONE project.

Further details

The Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian studies have been published previously (publication 11887, publication 11648, and publication 14543). Furthermore, collaborative analysis of acoustic neuroma (publication 12419) and glioma (publication 14460) based on these studies have been reported previously (publication 12419).
Regular use of a mobile phone was defined as at least once a week for at least six months.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

  • interview: mobile phone use, including start and end dates of use, frequency and laterality of use, type of phone, use of hands-free devices, and other factors, such as type of telephone network
  • calculation: cumulative hours of use based on average number and duration of calls

Exposure groups

Reference group 1 never or nonregular use
Group 2 regular use
Group 3 years since first use: 1.5 - 4
Group 4 years since first use: 5 - 9
Group 5 years since first use: ≥10
Group 6 lifetime years of use: 0.5 - 4
Group 7 lifetime years of use: 5 - 9
Group 8 lifetime years of use: ≥ 10
Group 9 cumulative number of calls: < 2195
Group 10 cumulative number of calls: 2195 - 7790
Group 11 cumulative number of calls: > 7790
Group 12 cumulative hours of use: < 125
Group 13 cumulative hours of use: 125 - 514
Group 14 cumulative hours of use: > 514
Group 15 cumulative number of calls by time since first use: < 10 years
Group 16 cumulative number of calls by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (≤ 1537 calls)
Group 17 cumulative number of calls by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (> 1537 calls)
Group 18 cumulative hours of use by time since first use: < 10 years
Group 19 cumulative hours of use by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (≤ 70 hours)
Group 20 cumulative hours of use by time since first use: ≥ 10 years (> 70 hours)
Group 21 analogue phone use
Group 22 digital phone use
Reference group 23 nonregular use or contralateral side of tumor and phone use
Group 24 regular ipsilateral phone use
Group 25 ipsilateral, years since first use: 1.5 - 4
Group 26 ipsilateral, years since first use: 5 - 9
Group 27 ipsilateral, years since first use: ≥ 10
Reference group 28 nonregular use or ipsilateral side of tumor and phone use
Group 29 contralateral, years since first use: 1.5 - 4
Group 30 contralateral, years since first use: 5 - 9
Group 31 contralateral, years since first use: ≥ 10

Population

  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Age: 20–69 yr
  • Observation period: September 1999 - February 2004
  • Study location: Denmark, Finland (excluding Northern Lapland and Aland), Norway (the Southern and Middle parts), Sweden (Umea, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Lund regions), United Kingdom (Thames region of Southeast England)

Case group

Control group

  • Selection:
    • population-based
    • registry-based
  • Matching:
    • sex
    • age
    • area

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 1,629 6,581
Participants 1,209 3,299
Participation rate 74 50
Evaluable 1,204 2,945
Statistical analysis method:
  • conditional logistic regression
( adjustment:
  • 5-year age group
  • sex
  • region, country
)

Conclusion (acc. to author)

No evidence of increased risk of meningioma in relation to use of mobile phones was found. Regular use, years since first use, lifetime years of use and cumulative number of calls were not associated with an increased risk. No increased risk was found in relation to ipsilateral use or use of analogue and digital mobile phones.
The authors concluded that the findings do not suggest that mobile phone use is associated with an increased risk of meningioma.

Study funded by

  • European Union (EU)/European Commission
  • Academy of Finland
  • Swedish Research Council (VR)
  • Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finland
  • GSM Association, UK/Ireland
  • Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF), Belgium
  • International Union against Cancer (UICC; Union Internationale Contre le Cancer), Switzerland
  • Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR), UK

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