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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Aug 19, 2019)

ID Number 2115
Study Type Epidemiology
Model Meta-analysis of case-control studies of mobile phone use and brain tumors

Meta-analysis of studies examining the correlation between mobile phone use and brain tumors. The authors used MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library as sources of published literature and obtained 23 published papers involving 37,916 participants (12,344 cases + 25,572 controls). The authors report an overall OR = 0.98; 95% CI 0.89-1.07 for malignant + benign tumors. In studies that were blinded (Hardell et al, 1999-2007) a positive association was observed (OR = 1.17; 95% CI 1.02-1.36) and for studies that were not blinded (Interphone set, Muscat 2000, Inskip 2001) a negative association was observed (OR = 0.98; 95% CI 0.89-1.07). For 10+ years of use, 13 studies reporting on this had a collective positive association (OR = 1.18; 95% CI 1.04-1.34). The authors conclude there is possible evidence linking mobile phone use to an increased risk of tumors.

Findings Effects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea -
Funding Agency Private/Instit.
  • Myung, SK et al. J Clinical Oncol, (2009) 27:5565-5572
  • Stang, A et al. J Clin Oncol, (2010) 28:121-
  • Rowley, JT et al. J Clin Oncol, (2010) 28:122-
  • Samkange-Zeeb, F et al. J Clin Oncol, (2010) 28:123-
  • Myung, SK et al. J Clin Oncol, (2010) :-
  • Comments

    Critical letters to the editor from Samkange-Zeeb et al - should not have relied solely on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) and the subjective assessment of study quality. Further, the analysis did not objectively examining prior criticisms of Hardell et al studies. Stang et al also criticised the use of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale because of the heavy emphasis on blinding, and the arbitrary cutpoints used to describe low vsl high bias studies. The wireless industry (Rowley and Milligan) criticised the meta-analysis and the suggestion that there was an industry influence in the studies, including INTERPHONE. Myung et al respond by saying the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) is not ideal, but is as dependable as other methods and defend the inclusion of blinding and identical response rates for cases and controls as important criteria.