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Mobile phone use and risk of brain neoplasms and other cancers: prospective study

Benson VS, Pirie K, Schüz J, Reeves GK, Beral V, Green J; for the Million Women Study Collaborators.

Int J Epidemiol 2013;42:792-802

BACKGROUND:

Results from some retrospective studies suggest a possible increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma in users of mobile phones.

METHODS:

The relation between mobile phone use and incidence of intracranial central nervous system (CNS) tumours and other cancers was examined in 791 710 middle-aged women in a UK prospective cohort, the Million Women Study. Cox regression models were used to estimate adjusted relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Women reported mobile phone use in 1999 to 2005 and again in 2009.

RESULTS:

During 7 years’ follow-up, 51 680 incident invasive cancers and 1 261 incident intracranial CNS tumours occurred. Risk among ever vs never users of mobile phones was not increased for all intracranial CNS tumours (RR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.90-1.14, P = 0.82), for specified CNS tumour types nor for cancer at 18 other specified sites. For long-term users compared with never users, there was no appreciable association for glioma (10+ years: RR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.55-1.10, P = 0.16) or meningioma (10+ years: RR = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.66-1.84, P = 0.71). For acoustic neuroma, there was an increase in risk with long term use vs never use (10+ years: RR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.07-5.64, P = 0.03), the risk increasing with duration of use (trend among users, P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this large prospective study, mobile phone use was not associated with increased incidence of glioma, meningioma or non-CNS cancers.

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