Pregnant mums who regularly use mobile phones may be more likely to have kids with behavioural problems, particularly if those children start using mobile phones early themselves, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The researchers base their findings on more than 28,000 seven year olds and their mothers who were part of the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) study.
This study enrolled nearly 100,000 pregnant women between 1996 and 2002, with the intention of tracking their kids' long term health.
The mums supplied detailed information on their lifestyle, dietary and environmental factors during the course of four lengthy phone interviews during and after pregnancy.
When their children reached the age of 7, the mums were quizzed again about their and their kids' health, including behaviour, which were scored using validated assessments. They were also asked to provide details of their mobile phone use during pregnancy and their kids' mobile phone use.
The researchers had already studied a group of mothers and their 13,000 children from the DNBC and found similarities between the two groups.
In the new group, more than a third (35%) of the 7 year olds were using a mobile phone compared with 30% of the previous group. And whereas around one in 10 children of the previous group were jointly exposed to mobile phones before and after birth, this applied to 17% of the new group.
In both groups, around 3% of children were considered to have borderline behavioural problems, and similar proportions were categorised as exhibiting abnormal behaviour.
Children in both groups exposed to mobile phones before and after birth were 50% more likely to have behavioural problems, after taking account of a wide range of influential factors.
Those exposed to mobile phones before birth only were 40% more likely to have behavioural problems, while those with no prenatal exposure but with access to them by the age of 7 were 20% more likely to exhibit abnormal behaviours.
The authors say that these new results back their previous research and reduce the likelihood that this could have been a chance finding.
And they conclude: "Although it is premature to interpret these results as causal, we are concerned that early exposure to cell phones could carry a risk, which, if real, would be of public health concern given the widespread use of this technology."
BMJ-British Medical Journal: http://www.bma.org
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
Brain scans of both pre-and full term infants showed striking differences in the salience network, which is disrupted in adults with ADHD and autism
Far from being dead, a rotting human corpse is the cornerstone of a complex ecosystem. A better understanding of this ecosystem could have direct applications in forensic science
A new study suggests an asteroid triggered global volcanic eruptions that drove the dinosaurs to extinction
Along the West Coast, signs that sea stars from Alaska to Baja are fighting back from a devastating disease
The discovery was an accident
Pilot program uses whole-genome sequencing to identify previously unknown outbreaks
Birds evolved modern traits, including the ability to fly well and wade in water, surprisingly early
When did the last of the ground sloths disappear? The standard answer is “about 10,000 years ago”.
It's becoming possible to edit our genes to treat and prevent conditions like HIV and sickle cell disease or, more controversially, create designer babies
Our dreams are so bizarre that parts of the brain that usually try to make sense of language seem to power down rather than attempt to understand them