- Dear Betty,
- Dr Hardell's cellular phone study is on Medscape today.
The cases and controls were evaluated for exposure to a variety of possible
cancer risks through questionnaires and additional telephone interviews.
The statistical analysis was based on answers from 209 cases and 425 controls.
Some of the other risks examined in this study included exposure to radiation,
electromagnetic fields or video displays, exposure to various chemical
agents including pesticides, exposure to the sweetener aspartame, and risk
- For aspartame, they studied intake of low-calorie drinks
and found an OR of 1.24 (95% CI, 0.72-2.14). The risk was further increased
for malignant tumors, with an OR of 2.66 (95% CI, 1.01-7.04) in the highest-exposure
group. The mean age of cases and controls was 50 years.
- OR = Odds Ratio CI = Confidence Interval
- Medscape General Medicine http://www.medscape.com/
- Original Article Case-Control Study on Radiology Work,
Medical X-ray Investigations, and Use of Cellular Telephones as Risk Factors
for Brain Tumors
- Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD, Department of Oncology, Orebro
Medical Center, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden email: email@example.com
Asa Nasman, MSc, Department of Oncology, Orebro Medical Center, SE-701
85 Orebro, Sweden Anneli Pahlson, MD, Department of Neurology, Orebro Medical
Center, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden Arne Hallquist, MD, PhD, Department of
Oncology, Karolinska Institute and Stockholms Sjukhem, Mariebergsgatan
22, SE-112 35 Stockholm, Sweden
- ----------- Abstract
- Ionizing radiation is a well-established risk factor
for brain tumors. During recent years, microwave exposure from the use
of cellular telephones has been discussed as a potential risk factor. Objective.
To determine risk factors for brain tumors. Design. A case-control study,
with exposure assessed by questionnaires. Participants. A total of 233
currently living men and women, aged 20 to 80 years, were included. The
case patients had histopathologically verified brain tumors and lived in
the Uppsala-Orebro region (1994-1996) or the Stockholm region (1995-1996).
Two matched controls to each case were selected from the Swedish Population
Register. Main Outcome Measures. Ionizing radiation and use of cellular
telephones as risk factors for brain tumors.
- A total of 209 cases (90%) and 425 controls (91%) answered
the questionnaire. Work as a physician yielded an odds ratio (OR) of 6.00,
with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.62 to 57.7. All three case patients
had worked with fluoroscopy. Radiotherapy of the head and neck region yielded
an OR of 3.61 (95% CI, 0.65-19.9). Medical diagnostic x-ray examination
of the same area yielded an OR of 2.10 (95% CI, 1.25-3.53), with a tumor
induction period of 5 years or more. Chemical industry work yielded an
OR of 4.10 (95% CI, 1.25-13.4), and laboratory work yielded an OR of 3.21
(95% CI, 1.16-8.85). Ipsilateral use of cellular telephones increased the
risk for tumors in the temporal, temporoparietal, and occipital lobes (OR,
2.42; 95% CI, 0.97-6.05), ie, the anatomic areas with highest exposure
to microwaves from a mobile telephone. The result was further strengthened
(OR, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.02-6.71) in a multivariate analysis that included
laboratory work and medical diagnostic x-ray investigations of the head
- Exposure to ionizing radiation, work in laboratories,
and work in the chemical industry increased the risk of brain tumors. Use
of a cellular telephone was associated with an increased risk in the anatomic
area with highest exposure. [MedGenMed, May 4, 2000. c Medscape, Inc.]
- Keywords: Brain tumors, fluoroscopy, radiologist, radiation,
medical x-ray, cellular telephones
- David Fluhrer <firstname.lastname@example.org Medscape
- Andrew Lavin/NinaDietrich <email@example.com A. Lavin
- CELL PHONE USERS STILL AT RISK FOR BRAIN CANCER, ACCORDING
TO SWEDISH MEDICAL RESEARCHERS
- Peer-Reviewed Article on Medscape General Medicine Points
to Higher Risk for Analog Phones
- New York, NY - With worldwide cellular phone use rising
exponentially, a team of Swedish medical investigators is raising renewed
concerns about links between brain tumors and the phones in a new, peer-reviewed
article to be posted today on Medscape General Medicine, (MedGenMed, www.medscape.com/journal/MedGenMed),
the online general medical journal.
- In the report, "Case-Control Study on Radiological
Work, Medical X-ray Investigations and Use of Cellular Telephones as Risk
Factors for Brain Tumors, the Swedish team investigated localization of
the brain tumors since handheld cell phones increase the exposure of microwaves
to the side of the brain corresponding to the side of the head most favored
by cell phone users. Statistical analysis indicated an increase in associated
risk for brain tumors in the anatomical areas - i.e., temporal, temporoparietal
and occipital lobes of the brain -- that received the highest doses of
microwaves. The risk from cell phones was significantly increased when
adjustment was made for other risk factors in the study (laboratory work
and medical x-ray investigations of the head and neck). The article also
points out that all but one of the 13 individuals with malignant or benign
tumors within exposed anatomical areas of the brain relied on the older
analog technology with greater power output. The complete report will
be available to the public at http://www.medscape.com/MedGenMed/braintumors.
- The study, conducted over a two-year period in two separate
regions of Sweden, evaluated a total of 233 patient cases with verified
brain tumors. Each of these patient cases was matched to two controls,
or healthy subjects (466 in total), based on similar sex, age, and geography.
Eight of these 233 patients had recurrent brain tumors and were excluded
from the study together with their matched controls. The cases and controls
were evaluated for exposure to a variety of possible cancer risks through
questionnaires and additional telephone interviews. The statistical analysis
was based on answers from 209 cases and 425 controls. Some of the other
risks examined in this study included exposure to radiation, electromagnetic
fields or video displays, exposure to various chemical agents including
pesticides, exposure to the sweetener aspartame, and risk by occupation.
The study was supported by grants from Cancer- och Allergifonden, the
Swedish Medical Research Council and Orebro Cancer Fund.
- Dr. George D. Lundberg, Editor-in-Chief of MedGenMed
and its parent company, Medscape, Inc., said of the article, "The
study reaffirms that this issue requires further investigation, in spite
of recent reports downplaying the association between cell phone use and
brain tumors, and the lower-power output associated with newer digital
phones. With the proliferation of cell phones -- and the fact that many
older higher-power output phones are still in use -- it is important to
adequately assess the risks in larger, ongoing studies."
- Authors of the report are Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD, Department
of Oncology, Orebro Medical Center; Asa Näsman, MSc, Department of
Oncology, Orebro Medical Center; Anneli Pahlson, MD, Department of Neurology,
Orebro Medical Center; and Arne Hallquist, MD, PhD, Department of Oncology,
Karolinska Institute and Stockholms Sjukhem, Stockholm, Sweden. Journalists
may reach Dr. Hardell at: phone + 46 19 602 15 46, fax + 46 19 10 17 68,
- MedGenMed is published within medscape.com (www.medscape.com),
a leading provider of authoritative health and medical information on the
Internet since 1995 that is operated by Medscape, Inc. (NASDAQ NM:MSCP).
Articles are submitted, peer-reviewed, edited and then published exclusively
online free of charge. They become available to a virtually unlimited,
broad-based audience of physicians, other healthcare professionals, patients,
consumers, policymakers and the news media. Because the Internet does not
limit MedGenMed to a set weekly, monthly or quarterly publishing schedule,
Medscape maximizes the speed of delivery by reducing lengthy print cycles
while upholding the highest standards of quality.
- Guiding the editorial content of both MedGenMed and medscape.com
is a staff led by Lundberg, former Editor of the Journal of the American
Medical Association for 17 years. Dr. Lundberg has attracted a star-studded
editorial board comprising 19 of the world's leading physicians, clinicians,
medical experts, academicians and ethicists. In June of last year, MedGenMed
advanced online medical history by posting an original, authoritative peer-reviewed
report only 39 days after it was submitted, compared to the 6 to 24 months
of review normally required by traditional print general medical journals.
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