Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy and behaviour problems in 5-year-old children. epidem.

Published in: J Epidemiol Community Health 2013; 67 (5): 432-438

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A study was conducted in the Netherlands to investigate the association between maternal mobile phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy and child behavior problems at 5 years of age as reported by teachers and mothers.

Further details

Teachers and mothers reported child behavior problems using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire at the age of 5 years.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 prenatal mobile phone use: none
Group 2 prenatal mobile phone use: < 1 call/day
Group 3 prenatal mobile phone use: 1 - 4 calls/day
Group 4 prenatal mobile phone use: ≥ 5 calls/day
Reference group 5 prenatal cordless phone use: none
Group 6 prenatal cordless phone use: < 1 call/day
Group 7 prenatal cordless phone use: 1 - 4 calls/day
Group 8 prenatal cordless phone use: ≥ 5 calls/day

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 8,266
Participants 2,618
Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Among all mothers, 6.1% reported not using a cell phone, 38.4% less than 1 call/day, 38.5% 1-4 calls/day and 17% 5 or more calls/day during pregnancy. Regarding cordless phone use, 13% reported not using a cordless phone, 46% less than 1 call/day, 33.5% 1-4 calls/day and 7.5% 5 or more calls/day during pregnancy.
Overall, 9.6% of the children were classified as having overall behavior problems based on the teacher reports, compared with only 3.3% based on the maternal reports.
Children with prenatal exposure to mobile phones showed an increased but non-significant association of having teacher-reported overall behavior problems, although without dose-response relationship with the number of calls (0R 2.12, CI 0.95-4.74 for < 1 call/day; OR 1.58, CI 0.69-3.60 for 1-4 calls/day; OR 2.04 CI 0.86-4.80 for ≥ 5 calls/day). No association between teacher-reported overall behavior problems and cordless phone use was found. Associations of maternal mobile phone and cordless phone use with maternal-reported overall behavior problems remained non-significant.
The authors conclude that the results do not suggest that maternal mobile phone or cordless phone use during pregnancy increases the risk of behavior problems in their children.

Study funded by

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