Interphone study indicates brain cancer risk in heavy cell-phone users

The Interphone Study Group.  Brain Tumor Risk in Relation to Mobile Telephone Use: Results of the INTERPHONE International Case-Control Study. International Journal of Epidemiology (in press). doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq079

Is 30 minutes a day really a heavy cell phone user? I t is safe to say these usage numbers are below average in today’s Smartphone era……..

The major decade-long international study concluded that, overall, cell-phone users, among people who have used cell phones the most and longest — for at least 10 years and on average 30 minutes or more a day — the risk of brain tumors is substantially elevated when compared to people who don’t use cell phones.

The researchers analyzed risks for two types of brain tumors, only data linking heavy cell-phone use to gliomas appeared due to something other than chance. Participants were recruited in 13 countries (all outside of the United States) and included 7,416 tumor patients and almost twice that many controls.

Siegal Sadetzki, a public health physician at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine, says “We do see an association with ipsilateral use [tumors on the same side of the head that a user holds a cell phone to the ear]. We also see an association with temporal lobe [brain] exposure. So there are some indications of a positive association in these subgroups.”

David Carpenter, who heads the State University of New York at Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment in Rensselaer, N.Y., similarly finds that “[the authors] find a clear elevation in risk of brain cancer with prolonged use,” Carpenter points out, especially for gliomas and tumors that occur on the same side of the head as a user typically holds his or her phone. And “this conclusion is exactly what has been reported in the earlier studies,” he observes.

The 13-nation Interphone study found a 180% greater risk of brain cancer among those who used cell phones for 1,640 or more hours. Significantly, the brain cancer risk was highest on the side of the head where the individual predominantly used their phone.

“The question about cell phone cancer has been primarily been about brain cancer,” says Dr. Jonathan Samet. “People have explored some other health issues but the focus here has been on brain cancer because the brain – with cell phone use  is often the most exposed organ.”

Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case-control study. INTERPHONE Study Group.

Int J Epidemiol. 2010 Jun;39(3):675-94. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq079. Epub 2010 May 17.

Collaborators (48)

Cardis E, Deltour I, Vrijheid M, Combalot E, Moissonnier M, Tardy H, Armstrong B, Giles G, Brown J, Siemiatycki J, Parent ME, Nadon L, Krewski D, McBride ML, Johansen C, Collatz Christensen H, Auvinen A, Kurttio P, Lahkola A, Salminen T, Hours M, Bernard M, Montestrucq L, Schüz J, Berg-Beckhoff G, Schlehofer B, Blettner M, Sadetzki S, Chetrit A, Jarus-Hakak A, Lagorio S, Iavarone I, Takebayashi T, Yamaguchi N, Woodward A, Cook A, Pearce N, Tynes T, Blaasaas KG, Klaeboe L, Feychting M, Lönn S, Ahlbom A, McKinney PA, Hepworth SJ, Muir KR, Swerdlow AJ, Schoemaker MJ.