Study observes no association between cell phone use and auditory tumors

April 22, 2002

ST. PAUL, MN - The risk of acoustic neuroma, or auditory tumor, was unrelated to the frequency and duration of cellular telephone use, according to a study published in the April 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers from New York University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Medical Center conducted a case-control study of 90 acoustic neuroma patients, with 86 control subjects. All study subjects answered questions about hand-held cellular telephone use and lifestyle information such as smoking habits, alcohol consumption, medical history, occupations and occupational exposures. Specific information was gathered regarding the number of years of cellular phone use, minutes/hours used per month, year of first use, phone manufacturer, and reported average monthly bill.

"The risk of acoustic neuroma was unrelated to cellular telephone use," said study author Joshua Muscat, Ph.D., of the American Health Foundation in New York. "A slightly elevated risk was found for subjects with three or more years of cell phone use, but these subjects were also infrequent users. No association was observed with cumulative use, and we found no evidence of a trend in the odds of risk with increasing levels of exposure."

There are no established environmental causes of acoustic neuroma, although there has been concern that hand-held cellular telephone users may be at increased risk. The radio frequency radiation emitted from cellular phones is absorbed superficially on the skin and bones surrounding the ear, and intracranially behind the ear. While there is no evidence of carcinogenic effect, public health concerns about the safety of cellular phone use persists. This study examined relatively short-term cell phone use, and study authors encourage continued, longer-term studies to more fully address public health concerns.
-end-
This study was supported by funding from Wireless Technology, Inc. and Public Health Service Grants.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its website at www.aan.com.

For more information contact: Kathy Stone, 651-695-2763, kstone@aan.com
For a copy of the study, contact Cheryl Alementi, 651-695-2737, calementi@aan.com

American Academy of Neurology

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