Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Author: Yoon-Jung Choi1,2,3, Joel M Moskowitz4, Seung-Kwon Myung1,5,6, Yi-Ryoung Lee7, Yun-Chul Hong2,3,8
1 Department of Family Medicine and Center for Cancer Prevention and Detection, Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang 10408, Korea.
2 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-744, Korea.
3 Environmental Health Center, College of Medicine,Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Korea.
4 School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7358, USA.
5 Department of Cancer Biomedical Science, National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, Goyang 10408, Korea.
6 Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Management, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Goyang 10408, Korea.
7 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital of the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea.
8 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul 03080, Korea.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2020 Nov 2
Other: Volume ID: 17 , Issue ID: 21 , Pages: E8079 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph17218079. , Word Count: 198

We investigated whether cellular phone use was associated with increased risk of tumors using a meta-analysis of case-control studies. PubMed and EMBASE were searched from inception to July 2018. The primary outcome was the risk of tumors by cellular phone use, which was measured by pooling each odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). In a meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies, compared with never or rarely having used a cellular phone, regular use was not associated with tumor risk in the random-effects meta-analysis. However, in the subgroup meta-analysis by research group, there was a statistically significant positive association (harmful effect) in the Hardell et al. studies (OR, 1.15-95% CI, 1.00 to 1.33- n = 10), a statistically significant negative association (beneficial effect) in the INTERPHONE-related studies (case-control studies from 13 countries coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); (OR, 0.81-95% CI, 0.75 to 0.89-n = 9), and no statistically significant association in other research groups' studies. Further, cellular phone use with cumulative call time more than 1000 h statistically significantly increased the risk of tumors. This comprehensive meta-analysis of case-control studies found evidence that linked cellular phone use to increased tumor risk.

Keywords: case-control study; cellular phone; electromagnetic field; meta-analysis; tumor.

PMID: 33147845 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17218079