A 30-year study of just about everyone in Scandinavia has found no link between rising mobile use and rates of brain cancer. This is good news for chronic users of cellphones.
According to the new brief communication published online December 3 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, there was no substantial change in brain tumor incidence among adults 5 to 10 years after cell phone usage sharply increased.
Although cell phone use has been proposed as a risk factor for brain tumors, a biological mechanism to explain this association is not known.
To reach the conclusion, Isabelle Deltour, Ph.D., of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, in Copenhagen, and colleagues analyzed annual incidence rates of glioma and meningioma among adults aged 20 to 79 years from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Researchers identified 60,000 patients who were diagnosed with these types of brain tumors between 1974 and 2003.
The researchers found that incidence rates over this 30 year-period were stable, decreased, or continued a gradual increase that started before the introduction of cell phones. They also found no change in incidence trends in brain tumors from 1998 to 2003.
The authors did not assess cell phone usage at the individual level during this time period, only brain tumor incidence.
"Because of the high prevalence of mobile phone exposure in this population and worldwide, longer follow-up of time trends in brain tumor incidence rates are warranted," the authors write.