Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Mobile phone use and risk of tumors: a meta-analysis. epidem.

Published in: J Clin Oncol 2009; 27 (33): 5565-5572

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The associations between the use of mobile phones and the risks of malignant and benign tumors were investigated in a meta-analysis of case-control studies.

Further details

Following 23 studies were included: Hardell et al. 1999, Muscat et al. 2000, Inskip et al. 2001, Stang et al. 2001, Auvinen et al. 2002, Hardell et al. 2002, Warren et al. 2003, Hardell et al. 2004, Hardell et al. 2005, Hardell et al. 2005, Schoemaker et al. 2005, Hardell et al. 2006, Linet et al. 2006, Lönn et al. 2006, Schüz et al. 2006, Takebayashi et al. 2006, Hardell et al. 2007, Hours et al. 2007, Lahkola et al. 2007, Lahkola et al. 2008, Sadetzki et al. 2008, and Takebayashi et al. 2008.
The methodologic quality of the studies were assessed on the basis of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for quality of case-control studies in meta-analysis.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 never or rarely mobile phone use
Group 2 mobile phone use
Group 3 mobile phone use of 10 years or longer


Study size

Type Value
Total 12,344
Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

No association between overall use of mobile phones and the risks of malignant and benign tumors was found in an analysis of 23 studies (OR 0.98, CI 0.89-1.07). However, a significant possitive association (OR 1.17, CI 1.02-1.36) was observed in eight studies (mainly of the Hardell group) using blinding to the status of patient cases or controls at the interview, whereas a significant negative association (OR 0.85, CI 0.80-0.91) was found in 15 studies not using blinding (mainly Interphone studies). A significant association between mobile phone use of 10 years or longer and the risk for tumors (OR 1.18, CI 1.04-1.34) was observed in the analysis of 13 studies with data on long-term use.
The authors concluded that there is a possible evidence linking mobile phone use to an increased risk of tumors. Prospective cohort studies are needed to confirm the findings.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The results of the case-control studies can be biased by recall bias and selection bias.

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