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Cell phones and brain tumors: a review including the long-term epidemiologic data☆
Australia Created: 19 Aug 2009
Background: The debate regarding the health effects of low-intensity electromagnetic radiation from sources such as power lines, base stations, and cell phones has recently been reignited. In the present review, the authors attempt to address the following question: is there epidemiologic evidence for an association between long-term cell phone usage and the risk of developing a brain tumor? Included with this meta-analysis of the long-term epidemiologic data are a brief overview of cell phone technology and discussion of laboratory data, biological mechanisms, and brain tumor incidence.

In order to be included in the present meta-analysis, studies were required to have met all of the following criteria: (i) publication in a peer-reviewed journal; (ii) inclusion of participants using cell phones for ≥10 years (ie, minimum 10-year “latency”); and (iii) incorporation of a “laterality” analysis of long-term users (ie, analysis of the side of the brain tumor relative to the side of the head preferred for cell phone usage). This is a meta-analysis incorporating all 11 long-term epidemiologic studies in this field.

The results indicate that using a cell phone for ≥10 years approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same (“ipsilateral”) side of the head as that preferred for cell phone use. The data achieve statistical significance for glioma and acoustic neuroma but not for meningioma.

The authors conclude that there is adequate epidemiologic evidence to suggest a link between prolonged cell phone usage and the development of an ipsilateral brain tumor.

Abbreviations: CBTRUS, Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, CDMA, code division multiple access, CI, confidence interval, CNS, central nervous system, EMF, electromagnetic field, EMR, electromagnetic radiation, FCC, Federal Communications Commission, GSM, global system for mobile communication, IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, NHL, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, OR, odds ratio, SAR, specific absorption rate, TDMA, time division multiple access, WHO, World Health Organization
Keywords: Acoustic neuroma, Brain tumor, Cell phone, Electromagnetic radiation, Glioma, Incidence, Mechanism, Meningioma, Radiofrequency fields
a Australian National University, Australia
b Department of Neurosurgery, The Canberra Hospital, Garran ACT 2605, Australia
c The Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Randwick NSW 2031, Australia
d Institute of Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna A-1095, Austria
e Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Orebro SE-701 85, Sweden
Corresponding author. Department of Neurosurgery, The Canberra Hospital, Garran ACT 2605, Australia. Tel.: +61 2 6244 3937; fax: +61 2 6244 2718.

☆ There is no author conflict of interest, and no funding was requested or received for this review. The conclusions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the authors' affiliated institutions and employers.

Vini G. Khurana, PhD, FRACSab, Charles Teo, MBBS, FRACSc, Michael Kundi, PhDd, Lennart Hardell, MD, PhDe, Michael Carlberg, MSce

Received 23 December 2008; accepted 21 January 2009. published online 31 March 2009.
PII: S0090-3019(09)00145-1
Source: Iris Atzmon

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