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Epidemiological study

Mobile Phone Use and The Risk of Headache: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cross-sectional Studies.

Published in: Sci Rep 2017; 7 (1): 12595

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association between mobile phone use and headache was investigated in a meta-analysis.

Further details

Following 7 cross-sectional studies were included: Chia et al. (2000), Sandström et al. (2001), Söderqvist et al. (2008), Sudan et al. (2012), Zheng et al. (2015), Chiu et al. (2015), and Stalin et al. (2016).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation


Exposure groups

Reference group 1 mobile phone use: no
Group 2 mobile phone use: yes
Reference group 3 mobile phone use: < 2 min/day
Group 4 mobile phone use: 2 - 15 min/day
Group 5 mobile phone use: >15 min/day
Reference group 6 mobile phone use: < 2 calls/day
Group 7 mobile phone use: 2 - 4 calls/day
Group 8 mobile phone use: > 4 calls/day


  • Group:
    • men
    • women
    • children
  • Age: 7–70 years
  • Observation period: 1996 - 2014
  • Study location: China, Denmark, India, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan
Statistical analysis method:
  • heterogeneity test, random-effects model, fixed-effects model, funnel plot

Conclusion (acc. to author)

An increased risk of headache was observed in mobile phone users compared with non-users (group 2: OR 1.38, CI 1.18–1.61). Among mobile phone users, the risk of headache was also increased in those who had longer daily call duration compared users with call duration of < 2 min/day (group 4: OR 1.62, CI 1.34–1.98; group 5: OR 2.50, CI 1.76–3.54) and higher daily call frequency compared to < 2 calls/day (group 7: OR 1.37, CI 1.07–1.76; group 8: OR 2.52, CI 1.78–3.58).
The authors conclude that mobile phone use is significantly associated with headache. Further epidemiologic and experimental studies are required to affirm and understand this association.

Study funded by

  • Chinese National Science Foundation
  • National Key Technologies R&D Program, China

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