Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Association between vestibular schwannomas and mobile phone use epidem.

Published in: Tumour Biol 2014; 35 (1): 581-587

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association between vestibular schwannoma and mobile phone use was investigated in a case-control study and a case-case analysis in South Korea.

Further details

Regular mobile phone use was defined as having made or received a call on average at least once per week during at least 6 months.
In the case-case analysis the location and tumor volume were analyzed using imaging and a three-dimensional volume calculation.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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



Exposure groups

Group Description
Group 1 mobile phone use ≤ 10 years: short-term use
Group 2 mobile phone use > 10 years: long-term use
Group 3 daily amount of mobile phone use ≤ 20 min: light daily use
Group 4 daily amount of mobile phone use> 20 min: heavy daily use
Group 5 cumulative mobile phone use ≤ 2,000 hours: cumulative light use
Group 6 cumulative mobile phone use > 2,000 hours: cumulative heavy use
Group 7 preferred ear during call > 75% on the same side as the tumor: ipsilateral
Group 8 preferred ear during call > 75% opposite to tumor location: contralateral


Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 207 -
Contacted 134 -
Participants 119 238
Participation rate 89 % -
Statistical analysis method:

Results (acc. to author)

The results of the case-control study showed no association between mobile phone use and vestibular schwannoma (OR 0.956, CI 0.906-1.009).
In the case-case analysis, the average tumor volume of regular mobile phone users was significantly larger than that of non-regular users (OR 1.125, CI 1.041-1.216). Restricting the analysis to regular users, there was no significant difference (OR 1.045, CI 0.987-1.107) in tumor size between long-term users (group 2) and short-term users (group 1), but a significant difference was observed between heavy users (group 4) and light users (group 3) based on daily amount of use (OR 1.073, CI 1.008-1.141) and between cumulative heavy users (group 6) and light users (group 5) based on estimated cumulative hours (OR 1.088, CI 1.023-1.157). When the analysis was further limited to regular users who had serviceable hearing, a difference (OR 4.5, CI 0.585-34.6) was observed between ipsilateral users (n=12) and contralateral users (n=6).
The authors conclude that tumors may coincide with the more frequently used ear of mobile phones and tumor volume that showed strong correlation with amount of mobile phone use, thus there is a possibility that mobile phone use may affect tumor growth.

Study funded by

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