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Mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma risk in Japan
  1. T Takebayashi1,
  2. S Akiba2,
  3. Y Kikuchi1,
  4. M Taki3,
  5. K Wake4,
  6. S Watanabe4,
  7. N Yamaguchi5
  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
  3. 3Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4Electromagnetic Compatibility Group, Applied Electromagnetic Research Center, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan
  5. 5Department of Public Health, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor N Yamaguchi
 Department of Public Health, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, 8–1 Kawadacho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162–8666, Japan; yamaguch{at}


Objectives: The rapid increase of mobile phone use has increased public concern about its possible health effects in Japan, where the mobile phone system is unique in the characteristics of its signal transmission. To examine the relation between mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma, a case-control study was initiated.

Methods: The study followed the common, core protocol of the international collaborative study, INTERPHONE. A prospective case recruitment was done in Japan for 2000–04. One hundred and one acoustic neuroma cases, who were 30–69 years of age and resided in the Tokyo area, and 339 age, sex, and residency matched controls were interviewed using a common computer assisted personal interview system. Education and marital status adjusted odds ratio was calculated with a conditional logistic regression analysis.

Results: Fifty one cases (52.6%) and 192 controls (58.2%) were regular mobile phone users on the reference date, which was set as one year before the diagnosis, and no significant increase of acoustic neuroma risk was observed, with the odds ratio (OR) being 0.73 (95% CI 0.43 to 1.23). No exposure related increase in the risk of acoustic neuroma was observed when the cumulative length of use (<4 years, 4–8 years, >8 years) or cumulative call time (<300 hours, 300–900 hours, >900 hours) was used as an exposure index. The OR was 1.09 (95% CI 0.58 to 2.06) when the reference date was set as five years before the diagnosis. Further, laterality of mobile phone use was not associated with tumours.

Conclusions: These results suggest that there is no significant increase in the risk of acoustic neuroma in association with mobile phone use in Japan.

  • EMF, electromagnetic field
  • GSM, Global System for Mobile Communications
  • acoustic neuroma
  • mobile phone
  • case-control study
  • epidemiology

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  • Published Online First 15 August 2006

  • Competing interests: none.