Published: 04-12-2009 00:00 | Updated: 26-11-2013 10:29

No connection between increased cell phone usage and change in brain tumor incidence

There was no substantial change in brain tumor incidence among adults 5 to 10 years after cell phone usage sharply increased, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet amongst others. The study was published in the latest issue of Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers analyzed annual incidence rates of glioma and meningioma among adults aged 20-79 years from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. They identified 60,000 patients who were diagnosed with these types of brain tumors between 1974 and 2003. The result show that incidence rates over this 30 year-period were stable, decreased, or continued a gradual increase that started before the introduction of cell phones. The researchers also found no change in incidence trends in brain tumors from 1998 to 2003.

Although cell phone use has been proposed as a risk factor for brain tumors, a biological mechanism to explain this association is not known. However, the authors state that because of the high prevalence of mobile phone exposure worldwide, longer follow-up of time trends in brain tumor incidence rates are needed. Research leader was Dr Isabelle Deltour of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, in Copenhagen.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage.


Isabelle Deltour, Christoffer Johansen, Anssi Auvinen, Maria Feychting, Lars Klaeboe, Joachim Schüz

Time Trends in Brain Tumor Incidence Rates in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, 1974-2003

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, online 3 December 2009.

Contact information: