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Long-term effect of mobile phone use on sleep quality: Results from the cohort study of mobile phone use and health (COSMOS)

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  • COSMOS Study Group
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BACKGROUND: Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure (RF-EMF) from mobile phone use on sleep quality has mainly been investigated in cross-sectional studies. The few previous prospective cohort studies found no or inconsistent associations, but had limited statistical power and short follow-up. In this large prospective cohort study, our aim was to estimate the effect of RF-EMF from mobile phone use on different sleep outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included Swedish (n = 21,049) and Finnish (n = 3120) participants enrolled in the Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health (COSMOS) with information about operator-recorded mobile phone use at baseline and sleep outcomes both at baseline and at the 4-year follow-up. Sleep disturbance, sleep adequacy, daytime somnolence, sleep latency, and insomnia were assessed using the Medical Outcome Study (MOS) sleep questionnaire.

RESULTS: Operator-recorded mobile phone use at baseline was not associated with most of the sleep outcomes. For insomnia, an odds ratio (OR) of 1.24, 95% CI 1.03-1.51 was observed in the highest decile of mobile phone call-time (>258 min/week). With weights assigned to call-time to account for the lower RF-EMF exposure from Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS, 3G) than from Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM, 2G) the OR was 1.09 (95% CI 0.89-1.33) in the highest call-time decile.

CONCLUSION: Insomnia was slightly more common among mobile phone users in the highest call-time category, but adjustment for the considerably lower RF-EMF exposure from the UMTS than the GSM network suggests that this association is likely due to other factors associated with mobile phone use than RF-EMF. No association was observed for other sleep outcomes. In conclusion, findings from this study do not support the hypothesis that RF-EMF from mobile phone use has long-term effects on sleep quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105687
JournalEnvironment International
Volume140
Pages (from-to)105687
ISSN0160-4120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • Cell Phone, Cell Phone Use, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Electromagnetic Fields/adverse effects, Environmental Exposure, Finland, Humans, Prospective Studies, Radio Waves/adverse effects, Sleep, Sweden, Sleep disturbance, Electromagnetic fields, Insomnia, Cohort study, Cell phone

ID: 61823585