Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Audiologic disturbances in long-term mobile phone users. epidem.

Published in: J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2010; 39 (1): 5-11

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cross-sectional study was conducted in India to assess the possible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic waves emitted from GSM mobile phones on auditory functions.

Further details

All participants were taken up for several audiologic investigations including pure-tone audiometry, speech discrimination score, speech reception threshold, impedance audiometry, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE), auditory brainstem response (ABR) and middle latency response tests.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 control group: never used mobile phones
Group 2 duration of mobile phone use: 1 - 2 years, < 60 min/day
Group 3 duration of mobile phone use: 1 - 2 years, ≥ 60 min/day
Group 4 duration of mobile phone use: 2 - 4 years, < 60 min/day
Group 5 duration of mobile phone use: 2 - 4 years, ≥ 60 min/day
Group 6 duration of mobile phone use: > 4 years, < 60 min/day
Group 7 duration of mobile phone use: > 4 years, ≥ 60 min/day
Reference group 8 control group: never used mobile phones: ≤ 30 years old
Group 9 mobile phone users: ≤ 30 years old
Reference group 10 control group: never used mobile phones: > 30 years old
Group 11 mobile phone users: > 30 years old

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 162
Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

There was no significant difference between users and non-users of mobile phones for any of the audiologic parameters. However, trends for audiologic disturbances were seen within the users. Risk factors could be age over 30 years, mobile phone use for more than 4 years and more than 60 min/day, presence of tinnitus or ear warmth during mobile phone use. The authors concluded that long-term and intensive mobile phone use may cause inner ear damage.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The results should be interpreted with caution as a large sample size is required to reach definitive conclusions.

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