Health Risks of Cellular Phone Use

Aim: To determine if health risk is increased due to the use of cellular phones.

Conclusions and results: Reviews covered 170 primary studies of cell phone use from the 1990s to the present. To date, no definite link has been established between cell phone use and disease, nor has any risk been quantified. Due to the short history of cell phone use, more studies are needed to determine any long-term effects of using cell phones.

Recommendations: None.

Methods: The Technology Assessment Program (TAP) searched MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, and INAHTA databases using the terms "mobile phone" and "risk", along with publication types (systematic review, meta-analysis) to identify reviews published in English from 2000 to 2009 that synthesized research in adult human patients.

Further research/reviews required: More long-term studies are needed, as there is concern that adverse affects of cell phone use may take over a decade to manifest. Results are awaited from the latest 13-country INTERPHONE study.

Written by: Karen Flynn, VATAP, USA

INAHTA Brief issue: 2010/079

Agency: NHC, New Zealand National Health Committee
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VA Technology Assessment Program Brief Overview, December, 2009

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