Warren HG, Prevatt AA, Daly KA, Antonelli PJ (2003):

The authors have observed an apparent increase in the frequency of tumours of the facial nerve during the 1990s. They considered that the nerve might be at risk for exposure to high levels of microwave radiation from cell phones as it passes through the temporal bone. Their study was designed to explore the hypothesis that subjects with intratemporal facial nerve (IFN) tumours used cell phones more frequently than controls.

Eighteen patients with IFN tumour, diagnosed between July 1, 1995, and July 1, 2000, were matched with controls. Interviews were conducted over the telephone by trained health care professionals, and covered details of cell phone use, medical history, occupational history, and personal habits. The surveys were completed by 18 subjects, and by controls with rhinosinusitis (72), or dysphonia or gastroesophageal reflux disease (69). Fifty-one subjects with acoustic neuroma also completed the survey, and served as an alternative tumour group.

There was no association with regular use of hand-held cellular phones in those with IFN tumour (OR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.1-2.1) or in subjects with acoustic neuroma (OR = 1.0; 95% CI, 0.4-2.2). The odds ratio of developing an IFN tumour with any hand-held cell phone use was 0.6 (95% CI, 0.2-1.9).

The authors caution that the number of subjects was small, and that the period of exposure was short.

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