Study: Long-Term Cell Phone Use May Be Linked to Brain Tumors

For the past decade or more, many people have feared that excessive cell-phone usage may lead to an increased risk of developing brain tumors. Yet, that hypothesis has never been proven. A new European study, to be published in next month’s International Journal of Cancer, may very well bring the issue to the forefront.

Researchers from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland conducted a case-control study to “investigate the relationship between mobile phone use and risk of glioma [brain tumors] among 1,522 glioma patients and 3,301 controls.” Their overall findings suggest that there is “no evidence of increased risk of glioma related to regular mobile phone use.” They also reported that “no significant association was found across categories with duration of use, years since first use, cumulative number of calls, or cumulative hours of use.”

However, there was also a potentially troubling bit of news: “For more than 10 years of mobile phone use reported on the side of the head where the tumor was located, an increased odds ratio of borderline statistical significance was found.” Researchers are not exactly sure what the implications of that finding may be. They conclude, “Although our results overall do not indicate an increased risk of glioma in relation to mobile phone use, the possible risk in the most heavily exposed part of the brain with long-term use needs to be explored further before firm conclusions can be drawn.”

For long-term users of mobile-phone technology, it may be something to keep an ear on.

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