Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

A case-control study of risk of leukaemia in relation to mobile phone use. epidem.

Published in: Br J Cancer 2010; 103 (11): 1729-1735

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in the UK to investigate the risk of leukemia in relation to mobile phone use.

Further details

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: (odds ratio (OR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 never or nonregular use
Group 2 regular use
Group 3 years since first use: 0.5 - 4 years
Group 4 years since first use: 5 - 9 years
Group 5 years since first use: 10 - 14 years
Group 6 years since first use: ≥ 15 years
Group 7 lifetime years of use: 0.5 - 4 years
Group 8 lifetime years of use: 5 - 9 years
Group 9 lifetime years of use: 10 - 14 years
Group 10 lifetime years of use: ≥ 15 years
Group 11 cumulative number of calls: < 5350
Group 12 cumulative number of calls: 5350 - 16062
Group 13 cumulative number of calls: > 16062
Group 14 cumulative hours of use: < 284
Group 15 cumulative hours of use: 284 - 1156
Group 16 cumulative hours of use: >1156

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 1,660 781
Participants 806 589
Participation rate 50 % 75 %
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Overall, no association was found between regular mobile phone use and the risk of leukemia (OR 1.06, CI 0.76-1.46). Analysis of risk in relation to years since first use, lifetime years of use, cumulative number of calls and cumulative hours of use produced no significantly elevated risks. Only in the subgroup of people who first used a mobile phone 15 or more years ago, a non-significantly raised risk was observed (OR 1.87, CI 0.96-3.63).
The authors conclude that the use of mobile phones does not increase the risk of leukemia although the possibility of an effect after long-term use, while biologically unlikely, remains open.

Study funded by

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