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Associations of Maternal Cell-Phone Use During Pregnancy With Pregnancy Duration and Fetal Growth in 4 Birth Cohorts

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DOI

  • Ermioni Tsarna, Utrecht University
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  • Marije Reedijk, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht
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  • Laura Ellen Birks, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Centro para Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid
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  • Mònica Guxens, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Centro para Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Erasmus Medical Centre-Sophia Children's Hospital
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  • Ferran Ballester, Centro para Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Jaume I University
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  • Mina Ha, Dankook University
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  • Ana Jiménez-Zabala, Biodonostia Health Research Institute, Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa
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  • Leeka Kheifets, University of California Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health
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  • Aitana Lertxundi, Centro para Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Biodonostia Health Research Institute, University of the Basque Country
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  • Hyung Ryul Lim, Dankook University
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  • Jorn Olsen
  • Llúcia González Safont, Jaume I University
  • ,
  • Madhuri Sudan
  • Elisabeth Cardis, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Centro para Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid
  • ,
  • Martine Vrijheid, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Centro para Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid
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  • Tanja Vrijkotte, Academic Medical Centre University of Amsterdam, Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam, NL326 Groot-Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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  • Anke Huss, Utrecht University
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  • Roel Vermeulen, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht

Results from studies evaluating potential effects of prenatal exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields from cell phones on birth outcomes have been inconsistent. Using data on 55,507 pregnant women and their children from Denmark (1996-2002), the Netherlands (2003-2004), Spain (2003-2008), and South Korea (2006-2011), we explored whether maternal cell-phone use was associated with pregnancy duration and fetal growth. On the basis of self-reported number of cell-phone calls per day, exposure was grouped as none, low (referent), intermediate, or high. We examined pregnancy duration (gestational age at birth, preterm/postterm birth), fetal growth (birth weight ratio, small/large size for gestational age), and birth weight variables (birth weight, low/high birth weight) and meta-analyzed cohort-specific estimates. The intermediate exposure group had a higher risk of giving birth at a lower gestational age (hazard ratio = 1.04, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 1.07), and exposure-response relationships were found for shorter pregnancy duration (P < 0.001) and preterm birth (P = 0.003). We observed no association with fetal growth or birth weight. Maternal cell-phone use during pregnancy may be associated with shorter pregnancy duration and increased risk of preterm birth, but these results should be interpreted with caution, since they may reflect stress during pregnancy or other residual confounding rather than a direct effect of cell-phone exposure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume188
Issue7
Pages (from-to)1270-1280
Number of pages11
ISSN0002-9262
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

    Research areas

  • birth outcomes, cell phones, exposure, preterm birth, radio-frequency electromagnetic fields

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