Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Prenatal and Postnatal Cell Phone Exposures and Headaches in Children. epidem.

Published in: Open Pediatr Med Journal 2012; 6: 46-52

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association of mobile phone use during pregnancy and during early childhood and headaches in children was investigated in a cohort study in Denmark.

Further details

When the children reached seven years of age, mothers were invited to complete a questionnaire that focused on the child's exposures (e.g., maternal mobile phone use during pregnancy, child's mobile phone use at the age of 7 years), lifestyle, and health problems (e.g., migraine or 'often complaints of headaches, stomach aches or sickness').

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 no exposure
Group 2 prenatal exposure
Group 3 postnatal exposure
Group 4 prenatal and postnatal exposure

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 91,256
Participants 59,975
Participation rate 66 %
Evaluable 52,680
Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

According to mothers' reports, 39% out of 52,680 children were exposed prenatally, and 36% used a mobile phone at age seven years (postnatal exposure), but less than 1% used it more than one hour per week. Twenty percent of children were exposed only prenatally, 16% only postnatally, 19% both prenatally and postnatally, and 40% had no reported mobile phone exposure.
Children with mobile phone exposure had an increased risk of migraines and headache-related symptoms than children with no exposure (OR for migraine 1.30 (CI 1.01-1.68); OR for headache-related symptoms 1.32 (CI 1.23-1.40) for children with both prenatal and postnatal exposure).
The authors concluded that in this study mobile phone exposure was associated with headaches in children, but the association may not be causal given the potential for uncontrolled confounding and misclassification in observational studies such as the present study.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The results should be interpreted with caution due to limitations in exposure and outcome assessment. Additional possible confounders such as watching television, playing video games, and use of computers were not covered by the questionnaire.

Study funded by

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