Maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy and behaviour problems in 5-year-old children

M. Guxens, M. van Eijsden, R. Vermeulen, E. Loomans, T.G.M. Vrijkotte, H. Komhout, R.T. van Strien, A. Huss

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: A previous study found an association between maternal cell phone use during pregnancy and maternal-reported child behaviour problems at age 7. Together with cell phones, cordless phones represent the main exposure source of radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields to the head. Therefore, we assessed the association between maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy and teacher-reported and maternal-reported child behaviour problems at age 5. Methods: The study was embedded in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study, a population-based birth cohort study in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2003-2004). Teachers and mothers reported child behaviour problems using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire at age 5. Maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy was asked when children were 7 years old. Results: A total of 2618 children were included. As compared to non-users, those exposed to prenatal cell phone use showed an increased but non-significant association of having teacher-reported overall behaviour problems, although without dose-response relationship with the number of calls (OR=2.12 (95% CI 0.95 to 4.74) for lt;1 call/day, OR=1.58 (95% CI 0.69 to 3.60) for 1-4 calls/day and OR=2.04 (95% CI 0.86 to 4.80) for ≥ 5 calls/day). ORs for having teacher-reported overall behaviour problems across categories of cordless phone use were below 1 or close to unity. Associations of maternal cell phone and cordless phone use with maternal-reported overall behaviour problems remained non-significant. Non-significant associations were found for the specific behaviour problem subscales. Conclusion: Our results do not suggest that maternal cell phone or cordless phone use during pregnancy increases the odds of behaviour problems in their children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-438
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Guxens, M., van Eijsden, M., Vermeulen, R., Loomans, E., Vrijkotte, T. G. M., Komhout, H., van Strien, R. T., & Huss, A. (2013). Maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy and behaviour problems in 5-year-old children. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(5), 432-438. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2012-201792