Epidemiology

BJC Open article

British Journal of Cancer (2008) 98, 652–659. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604214 www.bjcancer.com
Published online 5 February 2008

Mobile phone use, exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic field, and brain tumour: a case–control study

T Takebayashi1, N Varsier2,3, Y Kikuchi1, K Wake3, M Taki2, S Watanabe3, S Akiba4 and N Yamaguchi5

  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan
  3. 3EMC Group, Applied Electromagnetic Engineering, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Kagoshima
  5. 5Department of Public Health, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan

Correspondence: Dr N Yamaguchi, E-mail: yamaguch@research.twmu.ac.jp

Received 17 September 2007; Revised 19 December 2007; Accepted 4 January 2008
Advance online publication 5 February 2008

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Abstract

In a case–control study in Japan of brain tumours in relation to mobile phone use, we used a novel approach for estimating the specific absorption rate (SAR) inside the tumour, taking account of spatial relationships between tumour localisation and intracranial radiofrequency distribution. Personal interviews were carried out with 88 patients with glioma, 132 with meningioma, and 102 with pituitary adenoma (322 cases in total), and with 683 individually matched controls. All maximal SAR values were below 0.1Wkg−1, far lower than the level at which thermal effects may occur, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for regular mobile phone users being 1.22 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.63–2.37) for glioma and 0.70 (0.42–1.16) for meningioma. When the maximal SAR value inside the tumour tissue was accounted for in the exposure indices, the overall OR was again not increased and there was no significant trend towards an increasing OR in relation to SAR-derived exposure indices. A non-significant increase in OR among glioma patients in the heavily exposed group may reflect recall bias.

Keywords:

glioma; meningioma; mobile phone; case–control study; epidemiology

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