EMF Health-effects Research

Mobile phone use and location of glioma: A case-case analysis.

Hartikka H, Heinävaara S, Mäntylä R, Kähärä V, Kurttio P, Auvinen A

Bioelectromagnetics. Jan 13 2009

[Epub ahead of print]

We assessed a new approach for evaluating the glioma risk among users of mobile phones to focus on the part of the brain most heavily exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phones. The tumor midpoint was defined from radiological imaging.

A case-case analysis with 99 gliomas was performed using logistic regression. The exposed cases were those with the tumor mid-point within 4.6 cm from the line between the mouth and the external meatus of the ear, representing the most likely location of the mobile phone (the source of exposure). Alternative analyses based on various indicators of mobile phone use as the outcome were also carried out. The majority of cases were regular mobile phone users.

A slightly higher proportion of gliomas among mobile phone users than non-users occurred within 4.6 cm from the presumed location of the mobile phone (28% vs. 14%). Modestly elevated odds ratios were observed for several indicators of mobile phone use, but without an exposure gradient.

The highest odds ratios were found for contralateral and short-term use.

Our results, though limited by the small sample size, demonstrate that detailed information on tumor location allows evaluation of the risk related to the most heavily exposed part of the brain, representing direct evaluation of the possible local carcinogenic effects of the radiofrequency fields. However, field strength varies between users and over time also within a given anatomic site, due to the output power of the phone. Collaborative analysis of a larger sample is planned.  

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