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Mobile and cordless telephones, serum transthyretin and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier: a cross-sectional study
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
Universitetssjukhuset Örebro.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Environmental health, ISSN 1476-069X, E-ISSN 1476-069X, Vol. 8, 19- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Whether low-intensity radiofrequency radiation damages the blood-brain barrier has long been debated, but little or no consideration has been given to the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. In this cross-sectional study we tested whether long-term and/or short-term use of wireless telephones was associated with changes in the serum transthyretin level, indicating altered transthyretin concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid, possibly reflecting an effect of radiation. METHODS: One thousand subjects, 500 of each sex aged 18-65 years, were randomly recruited using the population registry. Data on wireless telephone use were assessed by a postal questionnaire and blood samples were analyzed for serum transthyretin concentrations determined by standard immunonephelometric techniques on a BN Prospec instrument. RESULTS: The response rate was 31.4%. Logistic regression of dichotomized TTR serum levels with a cut-point of 0.31 g/l on wireless telephone use yielded increased odds ratios that were statistically not significant. Linear regression of time since first use overall and on the day that blood was withdrawn gave different results for males and females: for men significantly higher serum concentrations of TTR were seen the longer an analogue telephone or a mobile and cordless desktop telephone combined had been used, and in contrast, significantly lower serum levels were seen the longer an UMTS telephone had been used. Adjustment for fractions of use of the different telephone types did not modify the effect for cumulative use or years since first use for mobile telephone and DECT, combined. For women, linear regression gave a significant association for short-term use of mobile and cordless telephones combined, indicating that the sooner blood was withdrawn after the most recent telephone call, the higher the expected transthyretin concentration. CONCLUSION: In this hypothesis-generating descriptive study time since first use of mobile telephones and DECT combined was significantly associated with higher TTR levels regardless of how much each telephone type had been used. Regarding short-term use, significantly higher TTR concentrations were seen in women the sooner blood was withdrawn after the most recent telephone call on that day.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2009. Vol. 8, 19- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-8015DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-8-19ISI: 000266005800001PubMedID: 19383125Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-65549092298OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-8015DiVA: diva2:240499
Available from: 2009-09-28 Created: 2009-09-28 Last updated: 2017-03-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Health symptoms and potential effects on the blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers associated with use of wireless telephones
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health symptoms and potential effects on the blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers associated with use of wireless telephones
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the use of wireless telephones, yet little systematic data exist on the actual use of such devices in the general population. Mobile and cordless telephones emit radiofrequency fields (RF) raising concern about possible adverse health effects. As children and teenagers might be more vulnerable and have longer expected lifetime exposures to RF from these devices than adults, who started to use them later in life, they are a group of special concern. The aims of papers I and II in this thesis were to increase our knowledge of use of wireless telephones in the age group of 7-19 years, to study what factors could explain such use; and furthermore, whether the use among the 15-19 year group was associated with self-reported health symptoms and well-being. For collection of data a posted questionnaire was used. Among the 7-14 group (n=1423) nearly all had access to a mobile telephone, a cordless telephone or both, although the percentage of regular users was rather low, totally. Use of wireless telephones increased with age and was more common among girls than boys, especially among the 15-19 year group (n=1269). Relatively few regular users of mobile telephones reported to use a handsfree. Besides age and gender the probability of using either a mobile or cordless telephone was associated mainly with watching TV extensively and below average household income. Regular users more often had health symptoms and reported poorer perceived health than did non-regular users. However, the latter should be interpreted with caution since bias and chance findings due to multiple testing might have influenced the results. Methodologically more sophisticated studies are needed to confirm these results and also investigate directions of possible associations. The aim of papers III-V was to investigate the potential effects of wireless telephone emissions on the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB) using biomarkers. In paper III – an observational study on adults (n=314) – use of mobile and cordless telephones combined was not associated with serum levels of S100B as a marker of BBB disruption. Analyzing the different telephone types separately yielded a weak association of decreasing concentrations with minutes since last use of cordless telephone on the day of leaving blood and a statistically significant association of higher concentrations the more years since first use of a 3G-telephone. However, the latter is probably a result of chance or confounding. Paper IV comprised the same data set as in paper III using serum transthyretin (TTR) as a marker of BCSFB dysfunction. The main finding was that the number of years since first use of mobile and cordless telephones combined was statistically significantly associated with higher serum levels of TTR regardless of how much each telephone type had been used. However, extra-cerebral sources of TTR might have confounded the results, if associated with exposure. Paper V was an experimental study investigating a possible short-term effect of an 890-megahertz mobile phone-like exposure on the BBB and the BCSFB of 41 volunteers. Repeated blood sampling before and after the provocation showed no statistically significant increase in the serum levels of S100B, while for TTR a small but statistically significant increase was seen in the final blood sample 60 minutes after the end of the provocation as compared to the prior sample taken immediately after provocation. The possible clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Larger randomized studies that employ use of additional more brain-specific markers and multiple exposure conditions are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2009. 78 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Medicine, ISSN 1652-4063 ; 35
Keyword
radiofrequency fields; mobile telephone; DECT-telephone; cordless telephone; children; adolescents; well-being; choroid plexus; biomarkers; S100B; transthyretin
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-8020 (URN)978-91-7668-689-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
Universitetssjukhuset, Wilandersalen, Södra Grev Rosengatan, Örebro (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-10-02 Created: 2009-09-28 Last updated: 2011-05-02Bibliographically approved

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