Chia S-E, Chia H-P, Tan J-S

This cross-sectional study was carried out on a sample of a population living in one area of Singapore. The objectives were to study the prevalence of specific central nervous system (CNS) symptoms among users of handheld cellular telephones (HP) compared to non-HP users, and to determine the association of risk factors and CNS symptoms among HP users. HPs were used by 44.8%. HP users were slightly more likely to have headaches than non-HP users (adjusted prevalence rate ratio 1.31: 95% confidence intervals 1.00-1.70). The prevalence of headache increased with duration of use per day. The use of HPs was not associated with a significant increase of CNS symptoms other than headaches.

A cross-sectional study is a weak type of study to try to prove a causal relationship, primarily because the temporal relationship of the exposure and outcome is obscured. It is possible that people who used HPs in this study had an increased prevalence of headaches before starting to use an HP.

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