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Mobile Phone Usage and the Risk of Brain Tumors

Amir Hossein Mortazavi Entesab and Naina Sawal

Purpose: This literature review investigated the possible association between the use of mobile phones and brain tumors.

Methods: In brief, 11 publications were retrieved from JSTOR, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Summon in order to compare the association between the usage of mobile phones in patients with a brain tumor and those without. Papers published in English, and after 2001 were selected for. There was no limit on age, gender, geographical location and type of brain tumor.

Results: For regular mobile phone usage, the combined odds ratios (OR) (95% confidence intervals) for three studies was: 1.5 (1.2-1.8); 1.3 (0.95-1.9); and 1.1 (0.8-1.4), respectively. Furthermore, the odds ratio did not increase, regardless of mobile phone use duration. Additionally, Lonn et al. observed that the risk also did not significantly increase when assessing the laterality (ipsilateral or contralateral) of the tumor in relation to side of head used for the mobile phone. Kan et al. observed an OR of 1.22 when comparing analog phone to digital phone use.

Conclusion: This review concluded that there is no current association between mobile phone use and the development of brain tumors. Although certain studies speak in favor of an increased risk, many are plagued with either: sampling bias, misclassification bias, or issues concerning risk estimates. Further research needs to be done in order to evaluate the long-term effect of mobile phone usage on the risk of developing a brain tumor.