Epidemiological study (observational study)

Mobile phone use and risk for intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors - a meta-analysis.

Published in: Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017; 30 (1): 27-43

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association between the mobile phone use and intracranial tumors was investigated in a meta-analysis.

Further details

Following 22 studies were included: Auvinen et al. 2002, Carlberg et al. 2003, Christensen et al. 2004, Christensen et al. 2005, Hardell et al. 1999, Hardell et al. 2004, Hardell et al. 2004, Hardell et al. 2006, Hardell et al. 2013, Hepworth et al. 2006, Inskip et al. 2001, Klaeboe et al. 2007, Lahkola et al. 2007, Lönn et al. 2004, Lönn et al. 2005, Muscat et al. 2000, Schoemaker et al. 2005, Schüz et al. 2006, Takebayashi et al. 2006, Warren et al. 2003, INTERPHONE Study Group 2010 and INTERPHONE Study Group 2011.
The following associations were analyzed: 1) all intracranial tumors and all mobile phone types, 2) all brain tumors and analog phones, 3) glioma and all mobile phone types, 4) meningioma and all mobile phone types, 5) acoustic neuroma and all mobile phone types, 6) all intracranial tumors and all phone types (use > 10 years), 7) all intracranial tumors and all phone types (time from first regular use > 10 years or more) and 8) all intracranial tumors and all phone types; ipsilateral use.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:
  • incidence



  • Group:
    • men
    • women
  • Observation period: 1994 - 2009
  • Study location: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Israel, USA, Japan

Study size

Total 76,859
Other: 26,846 cases and 50,013 controls
Statistical analysis method:
  • heterogeneity test, fixed-effects model, random-effects model

Conclusion (acc. to author)

A significantly higher risk of an intracranial tumor (all types) was noted for the period of mobile phone use >10 years (group 6: OR 1.46, CI 1.07-1.98), for the time from first regular use > 10 years or more (group 7: OR 1.25, CI 1.04-1.52) and for the ipsilateral use (group 8: OR 1.29, 1.06-1.57). (Remark EMF-Portal: The number of included publications and the values of the odds ratios in the abstract and results are not identical. According to a personal note by the first author, the values in the results are valid and the differences do not affect the conclusion.)
According to the conclusion of the authors, the results support the hypothesis that long-term use of mobile phone increases the risk of intracranial tumors, especially in the case of ipsilateral exposure.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The limitations of the meta-analysis result from the limitations of the individual case-control studies, particularly those related to exposure assessment and long latency of the intracranial tumors.

Study funded by

  • National Committee for Scientific Research (KBN), Poland

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