Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Tinnitus and mobile phone use. epidem.

Published in: Occup Environ Med 2010; 67 (12): 804-808

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in Austria to investigate whether mobile phone use increases the risk of tinnitus.

Further details

The energy of the mobile phone is predominantly absorbed at the side of the head to which the mobile phone is held during the calls. Therefore, the laterality of mobile phone use and tinnitus was examined, i.e. whether the mobile phone was held on the same side of the head where the tinnitus later developed (ipsilateral) oder on the opposite side (contralateral). As only a small number of participants used their mobile phones exclusively on one side of the head, the use of each participant was divided into ipsilateral and contralateral fractions.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 mobile phone use, ipsilateral: never
Group 2 mobile phone use, ipsilateral: ever
Reference group 3 mobile phone use, contralateral: never
Group 4 mobile phone use, contralateral: ever
Reference group 5 mobile phone use, overall: never
Group 6 mobile phone use, overall: ever
Group 7 average mobile phone use duration, ipsilateral: < 10 min/day
Group 8 average mobile phone use duration, ipsilateral: ≥ 10 min/day
Group 9 average mobile phone use duration, contralateral: < 10 min/day
Group 10 average mobile phone use duration, contralateral: ≥ 10 min/day
Group 11 average mobile phone use duration, overall: < 10 min/day
Group 12 average mobile phone use duration, overall: ≥ 10 min/day
Group 13 cumulative hours of mobile phone use, ipsilateral: < 160 h
Group 14 cumulative hours of mobile phone use, ipsilateral: ≥ 160 h
Group 15 cumulative hours of mobile phone use, contralateral: < 160 h
Group 16 cumulative hours of mobile phone use, contralateral: ≥ 160 h
Group 17 cumulative hours of mobile phone use, overall: < 160 h
Group 18 cumulative hours of mobile phone use, overall: ≥ 160 h
Group 19 cumulative numbers of calls, mobile phone use ipsilateral: < 4000
Group 20 cumulative numbers of calls, mobile phone use ipsilateral: ≥ 4000
Group 21 cumulative numbers of calls, mobile phone use contralateral: < 4000
Group 22 cumulative numbers of calls, mobile phone use contralateral: ≥ 4000
Group 23 cumulative numbers of calls, mobile phone use overall: < 4000
Group 24 cumulative numbers of calls, mobile phone use overall: ≥ 4000
Group 25 mobile phone use, ipsilateral: never or < 1 year
Group 26 mobile phone use, ipsilateral: 1 - 3 year
Group 27 mobile phone use, ipsilateral: ≥ 4 year
Group 28 mobile phone use, contralateral: never or < 1 year
Group 29 mobile phone use, contralateral: 1 - 3 year
Group 30 mobile phone use, contralateral: ≥ 4 year
Group 31 mobile phone use, overall: never or < 1 year
Group 32 mobile phone use, overall: 1 - 3 year
Group 33 mobile phone use, overall: ≥ 4 year

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Participants 100 100
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Overall, no statistically significant increased risk for mobile phone use and tinnitus was observed in subgroups, except for the subgroup of ipsilateral use for 4 years and longer (OR 1.95; CI 1.00-3.80). The authors concluded that high intensity and long duration of mobile phone use might be associated with tinnitus.

Study funded by

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