Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Brain tumors and salivary gland cancers among cellular telephone users epidem.

Published in: Epidemiology 2002; 13 (3): 356-359

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A register-based case-control study on cellular telephone use and brain tumors and salivary gland cancers was conducted in Finland.

Further details

All cases of brain tumor and salivary gland tumor, diagnosed in Finland in 1996, were identified from the Finnish Cancer Registry. Five controls for each case were selected from the Population Registry Centre of Finland. Information about cellular phone subscription was obtained for cases and controls from the private subscriber lists of two cellular network providers in Finland.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

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



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 analog, subscription: never
Group 2 analog, subscription: ever
Group 3 analog, duration of subscription: < 1 year
Group 4 analog, duration of subscription: 1-2 years
Group 5 analog, duration of subscription: > 2 years
Reference group 6 digital, subscription: never
Group 7 digital, subscription: ever
Group 8 digital, duration of subscription: < 1 year
Group 9 digital, duration of subscription: 1-2 years
Group 10 digital, duration of subscription: > 2 years


Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 432 2,156
Evaluable 432 2,156

398 brain tumors (198 gliomas, 129 meningiomas, 72 other types), 34 salivary gland tumors

Statistical analysis method:

Results (acc. to author)

13 % of brain tumor cases, 12 % of salivary gland cases, and 11 % of the controls had ever subscribed to a cellular phone network. The results showed no association between brain tumors or salivary gland cancers and the use of cellular phone. But a weak association between gliomas and the use of analog cellular phones was found.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The register-based approach has limited value in risk assessment of cellular phone use because it was not possible to verify whether the actual user of the cellular phone was the subscriber or someone else, e.g., a family member.

Study funded by

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