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BMC Public Health. 2017 Sep 5;17(1):685. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4672-2.

Maternal cell phone use in early pregnancy and child's language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years: the Norwegian mother and child cohort study (MoBa).

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Exposures and Epidemiology, Division of Infection Control and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404, 0403, Oslo, Norway.
2
Department of Child Development, Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404, 0403, Oslo, Norway.
3
Division of Health Data and Digitalisation, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404, 0403, Oslo, Norway.
4
Department of Molecular Biology, Division of Infection Control and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404, 0403, Oslo, Norway.
5
ISGlobal- Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Doctor Aiguader, 08003, Barcelona, Spain.
6
Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain.
7
Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
8
Division of Health Data and Digitalisation, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404, NO-0403, Oslo, Nydalen, Norway. Jan.Alexander@fhi.no.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cell phone use during pregnancy is a public health concern. We investigated the association between maternal cell phone use in pregnancy and child's language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years.

METHODS:

This prospective study includes 45,389 mother-child pairs, participants of the MoBa, recruited at mid-pregnancy from 1999 to 2008. Maternal frequency of cell phone use in early pregnancy and child language, communication and motor skills at 3 and 5 years, were assessed by questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations.

RESULTS:

No cell phone use in early pregnancy was reported by 9.8% of women, while 39%, 46.9% and 4.3% of the women were categorized as low, medium and high cell phone users. Children of cell phone user mothers had 17% (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.89) lower adjusted risk of having low sentence complexity at 3 years, compared to children of non-users. The risk was 13%, 22% and 29% lower by low, medium and high maternal cell phone use. Additionally, children of cell phone users had lower risk of low motor skills score at 3 years, compared to children of non-users, but this association was not found at 5 years. We found no association between maternal cell phone use and low communication skills.

CONCLUSIONS:

We reported a decreased risk of low language and motor skills at three years in relation to prenatal cell phone use, which might be explained by enhanced maternal-child interaction among cell phone users. No evidence of adverse neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal cell phone use was reported.

PMID:
28870201
PMCID:
PMC5584361
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-017-4672-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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