Cellular telephones and non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Martha S. Linet, Theresa Taggart, Richard K. Severson, James R. Cerhan, Wendy Cozen, Patricia Hartge, Joanne Colt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Dramatic increase in hand-held cellular telephone use since the 1980s and excess risk of lymphoproliferative malignancies associated with radio-frequency radiation (RFR) exposures in epidemiological and experimental studies motivated assessment of cellular telephones within a comprehensive US case-control investigation of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). A questionnaire ascertained cellular telephone use in 551 NHL cases and 462 frequency-matched population controls. Compared to persons who had never used cellular telephones, risks were not increased among individuals whose lifetime use was fewer than 10 (odds ratio (OR) = 0.9, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.6, 1.3), 10-100 (OR = 1.0, 95% CI: 0.7, 1.5) or more than 100 times (e.g., regular users, OR = 0.9, 95% CI: 0.6, 1.4). Among regular users compared to those who had never used hand-held cellular telephones, risks of NHL were not significantly associated with minutes per week, duration, cumulative lifetime or year of first use, although NHL was non-significantly higher in men who used cellular telephones for more than 8 years. Little evidence linked use of cellular telephones with total, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or follicular NHL. These findings must be interpreted in the context of less than 5% of the population reporting duration of use of 6 or more years or lifetime cumulative use of 200 or more hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2382-2388
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2006


  • Case-control study
  • Epidemiology
  • Hand-held cellular telephone
  • Lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin
  • Radiofrequency/microwave radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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