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Is early cell phone exposure linked to behavioral problems?

December 14, 2010
by News release
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The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has published a study conducted by researchers from USC, UCLA and the University of Arhaus in Denmark that investigates whether cell phone exposure during pregnancy and infancy can be linked to behavioral problems once a child reaches adolescence.

The authors of the study previously reported results from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), which looked at prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioral problems in 7-year-old children. Exposure to cell phones pre-natally, and to a lesser degree post-natally, was associated with more behavioral difficulties. The original analysis included nearly 13,000 children who reached age 7.

To see if a larger, separate group of DNBC children would produce similar results after considering additional confounders, children of mothers who might better represent current users of cell phones were analyzed. The new set of data consisted of completed questionnaires of 28,745 children of the same age. The highest occurrence for behavioral problems were for children who had both pre-natal and post-natal exposure to cell phones compared with children not exposed during either time period.

The findings of the previous publication were replicated in this separate group of participants demonstrating that cell phone use was associated with behavioral problems in 7-year-olds, and this association was not limited to early users of the technology. Although weaker in the new set of data, the authors of the study contend that the associations remain. The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has the full study available