Cellular telephones and risk for
A population-based, incident case-control study
H. Collatz Christensen, MD; J. Schüz, PhD; M. Kosteljanetz, DMSc, MD; H. Skovgaard Poulsen, DMSc, MD;
J.D. Boice, Jr., ScD; J.K. McLaughlin, PhD; and C. Johansen, PhD, DMSc, MD
To evaluate a possible association of glioma or meningioma with use of cellular telephones, using a
nationwide population-based case–control study of incident cases of meningioma and glioma.
ascertained all incident cases of glioma and meningioma diagnosed in Denmark between September 1, 2000, and August
31, 2002. They enrolled 252 persons with glioma and 175 persons with meningioma aged 20 to 69. The authors also
enrolled 822 randomly sampled, population-based controls matched for age and sex. Information was obtained from
personal interviews, medical records containing diagnoses, and the results of radiologic examinations. For a small number
of cases and controls, the authors obtained the numbers of incoming and outgoing calls. They evaluated the memory of the
respondents with the Mini-Mental State Examination and obtained data on socioeconomic factors from Statistics Den-
There were no material socioeconomic differences between cases and controls or participants and non-
participants. Use of cellular telephone was associated with a low risk for high-grade glioma (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37 to
0.90). The risk estimates were closer to unity for low-grade glioma (1.08; 0.58 to 2.00) and meningioma (1.00; 0.54 to 1.28).
The results do not support an association between use of cellular telephones and risk for glioma or
Little is known about the risk factors for tumors of
Although some attention has been given
to the radiofrequency fields emitted from cellular
telephones, the fact that they do not have enough
energy to break chemical bonds or damage DNA
raises doubt that they could cause cancer.
frequency fields are unlikely to cause gene muta-
tions, the proposed biologic process underlying a
possible association between use of cellular tele-
phones and the risk for cancer is a thermal or a
non-thermal mechanism that promotes tumor
Of the epidemiologic studies of tumors of
the brain and radiofrequency fields from cellular
only one showed a significantly in-
creased risk for tumors after long-term use of cellu-
lar telephones or cordless telephones.
studies have, however, been criticized on a number
of methodologic bases.
We report here the results of the Danish compo-
nent of the Interphone project, which was initiated
as an international incident case-control study of
glioma, meningioma, parotid gland tumors, and
acoustic neuroma with a common protocol in 13