The usual epidemiological garbage. The findings must have been VERY weak, considering the reservations with which they were reported. Good to see that they for once refuse to make a causal link between the one adverse effect they observed and phone use. The newspapers seem happy to say that one causes the other, though. I suppose that makes better copy.

Amusing that the researchers had to go to the top decile to find anything. Using extreme quintiles is the usual fudge but even that was apparently not enough on this occasion. No wonder their report was so guarded! Any extreme groups are very likely to introduce confounding with other variables

A LONG-awaited international study of the health risks of mobile phones has linked extended use to an increased risk of developing brain tumours.

The 10-year Interphone study, the world’s biggest study of the health effects of mobile phones, found while there was no increased risk of cancer overall, those in the top 10 per cent of phone use are up to 40 per cent more likely to develop glioma, a common type of brain cancer.

Just 30 minutes of mobile talk time daily was enough to put participants into the top 10 per cent category in the study, carried out in 13 countries, including Australia, and involving more than 5000 brain cancer patients worldwide.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which conducted the study and has repeatedly delayed its publication, summarised the findings by saying there were “suggestions of an increased risk of glioma, and much less so meningioma, in the highest decile (10 per cent) of cumulative call time, in subjects who reported phone use on the same side of the head as their tumour”.

It added “biases and errors limit the strength of the conclusions that can be drawn . . . and prevent a causal interpretation”.

But the finding – reported by British newspapers yesterday ahead of its official scheduled release this week – has nevertheless ignited controversy among cancer experts, neurologists and other scientists.

Australian neurosurgeons Charlie Teo and Vini Khurana [The usual suspects] said last night the findings were a concern….

Other experts sought to reassure the public over the findings. IARC director Christopher Wild said an increased risk of brain cancer was “not established from the data from Interphone”.

More here

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