Background: There is concern about potential effects of radiofrequency fields generated by mobile phones on cancer risk. Most previous studies have found no association between mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma, although information about long-term use is limited.
Methods: We conducted a population-based, nation-wide, case-control study of acoustic neuroma in Sweden. Eligible cases were persons aged 20 to 69 years, who were diagnosed between 2002 and 2007. Controls were randomly selected from the population registry, matched on age, sex, and residential area. Postal questionnaires were completed by 451 cases (83%) and 710 controls (65%).
Results: Ever having used mobile phones regularly (defined as weekly use for at least 6 months) was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.18 (95% confidence interval = 0.88 to 1.59). The association was weaker for the longest induction time (≥10 years) (1.11 [0.76 to 1.61]) and for regular use on the tumor side (0.98 [0.68 to 1.43]). The OR for the highest quartile of cumulative calling time (≥680 hours) was 1.46 (0.98 to 2.17). Restricting analyses to histologically confirmed cases reduced all ORs; the OR for ≥680 hours was 1.14 (0.63 to 2.07). A similar pattern was seen for cordless land-line phones, although with slightly higher ORs. Analyses of the complete history of laterality of mobile phone revealed considerable bias in laterality analyses.
Conclusions: The findings do not support the hypothesis that long-term mobile phone use increases the risk of acoustic neuroma. The study suggests that phone use might increase the likelihood that an acoustic neuroma case is detected and that there could be bias in the laterality analyses performed in previous studies.