Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2011;37(4):341-348    pdf


Prenatal cell phone use and developmental milestone delays among infants

by Divan HA, Kheifets L, Olsen J

Objective The aim of this study was to examine if prenatal use of cell phones by pregnant mothers is associated with developmental milestones delays among offspring up to 18 months of age.

Methods Our work is based upon the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), which recruited pregnant mothers from 1996–2002, and was initiated to collect a variety of detailed information regarding in utero exposures and various health outcomes. At the end of 2008, over 41 000 singleton, live births had been followed with the Age-7 questionnaire, which collected cell phone use exposure for mothers during pregnancy. Outcomes for developmental milestones were obtained from telephone interviews completed by mothers at age 6 and 18 months postpartum.

Results A logistic regression model estimated the odds ratios (OR) for developmental milestone delays, adjusted for potential confounders. Less than 5% of children at age 6 and 18 months had cognitive/language or motor developmental delays. At 6 months, the adjusted OR was 0.8 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.7–1.0] for cognitive/language delay and 0.9 (95% CI 0.8–1.1) for motor development delay. At 18 months, the adjusted OR were 1.1 (95% CI 0.9–1.3) and 0.9 (95% CI 0.8–1.0) for cognitive/language and motor development delay, respectively.

Conclusions No evidence of an association between prenatal cell phone use and motor or cognitive/language developmental delays among infants at 6 and 18 months of age was observed. Even when considering dose–response associations for cell phone, associations were null.