A nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted in Taiwan to investigate the association between mobile phone use of children aged 11 to 15 years and the perceived health symptoms reported by their parents.
Children who had their own mobile phones and had been using mobile phones for at least 1 month prior to the interview on a regular basis were considered mobile phone users. Children using their parents' mobile phones were also considered as mobile phone users if they can use their parents' mobile phones away from home during day time.
Child's health status was assessed by interview of the parents. They were asked whether they were worried about their child's health, whether they think their child's health was worse than it was 1 year ago and whether they think that their child was more vulnerable than other children of the same age to sickness.
|Reference group 1||no mobile phone use|
|Group 2||mobile phone use|
About 63.2% of the Taiwanese children aged 11 to 15 years used mobile phones.
Mobile phone use was associated with a significantly increased risk for headaches and migraine (OR 1.42, CI 1.12-1.81) and skin itches (OR 1.84, CI 1.47-2.29). No significant association was observed with sleep disturbances. Children who regularly used mobile phones were also considered to have a health status worse than it was 1 year ago.
The authors conclude that their study tended to suggest a need for more cautious use of mobile phones in children, although the cross-sectional design precludes the causal inference for the observed association.