Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Mobile and cordless telephones, serum transthyretin and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: a cross-sectional study epidem.

Published in: Environ Health 2009; 8: 19

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Sweden to investigate whether long-term and/or short-term use of mobile phones and DECT phones was associated with changed concentrations of transthyretin.

Further details

The protein transthyretin served as marker of alterations of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. The same study population as in publication 16510 was used. The participants were asked to answer a questionnaire and to leave a blood sample.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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



Exposure groups

Group Description
Group 1 mobile phone and DECT phone use
Group 2 mobile phone use
Group 3 analog mobile phone use
Group 4 digital mobile phone use
Group 5 UMTS mobile phone use
Group 6 DECT phone use
Group 7 cumulative use of mobile phone and DECT phone in hours
Group 8 years since first use of mobile phone and DECT phone
Group 9 minutes of use on the day of giving blood, mobile phones
Group 10 minutes of use on the day of giving blood, DECT
Group 11 minutes from last use until blood sampling, mobile phones and DECT


Study size

Type Value
Total 1,000
Participants 314
Participation rate 31 %
Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Results (acc. to author)

Logistic regression analysis of serum transthyretin on mobile phone and DECT phone use yielded increased odds ratios that were statistically not significant (OR 1.2, CI 0.6-2.4). Linear regression analysis of time since first use gave significant findings for men having used analog mobile phones or mobile and DECT phone combined, but not for women. Regarding short-term use, significantly higher serum transthyretin concentrations were observed in women the sooner the blood was withdrawn after the most recent telephone call on that day.

Limitations (acc. to author)

Limitations of the study are the low participation rate and exposure assessment by questionnaire. Serum transthyretin is a marker of nutritional status, thus malnutrition could possibly confound the results. The transthyretin level should ideally be analyzed in the cerebrospinal fluid which is not possible for ethical reasons.

Study funded by

Related articles