Journal article

Investigation of bias related to differences between case and control interview dates in five INTERPHONE countries

Medicine Mobile phones Cancer



Associations between cellular telephone use and glioma risk have been examined in several epidemiological studies including the 13-country INTERPHONE study. Although results showed no positive association between cellular telephone use and glioma risk overall, no increased risk for long-term users, and no exposure-response relationship, there was an elevated risk for those in the highest decile of cumulative call time. However, results may be biased as data were collected during a period of rapidly increasing cellular telephone use, and as controls were usually interviewed later in time than cases.


Further analyses were conducted in a subset of five INTERPHONE study countries (Australia, Canada, France, Israel, New Zealand) using a post hoc matching strategy to optimize proximity of case-to-control interview dates and age.


Although results were generally similar to the original INTERPHONE study, there was some attenuation of the reduced odds ratios and stronger positive associations among long-term users and those in the highest categories for cumulative call time and number of calls (eighth–ninth and 10th decile).


Proximity and symmetry in timing of case-to-control interviews should be optimized when exposure patterns are changing rapidly with time.

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