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Environ Health Toxicol. 2015 Dec 21;30:e2015015. doi: 10.5620/eht.e2015015. eCollection 2015.

Mobile phone use and risk of glioma: a case-control study in Korea for 2002-2007.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Biostatistics, Korea University College of Medicine, seoul, Korea.
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Information and Communication Engineering, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.



There has been a growing concern about the possible carcinogenic effects of the electromagnetic radiofrequency fields emitted from mobile phones. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between mobile phone use and the development of gliomas in Korea.


Our study methods were based on the International Interphone study that aimed to evaluate possible adverse effects of mobile phone use. This study included 285 histologically-confirmed Korean patients 15 to 69 years of age, with gliomas diagnosed between 2002 and 2007 in 9 hospitals. The 285 individually matched controls were healthy individuals that had their medical check-up in the same hospitals. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate the adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for use of mobile phones.


For the entire group, no significant relationship was investigated between gliomas and regular use of mobile phones, types of mobile phones, lifetime years of use, monthly service fee, and the other exposure indices. Analyses restricted to self-respondents showed similar results. For ipsilateral users, whose the body side for usual mobile phone use match the location of glioma, the aORs (95% CIs) for lifetime years of use and cumulative hours of use were 1.25 (0.55 to 2.88) and 1.77 (0.32 to 1.84), respectively. However, the contralateral users showed slightly lower risk than ipsilateral users.


Our results do not support the hypothesis that the use of mobile phones increases the risk of glioma; however, we found a non-significant increase in risk among ipsilateral users. These findings suggest further evaluation for glioma risk among long-term mobile phone users.


Brain tumor; Electromagnetic field; Glioma; Mobile phone

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