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Alzheimer mortality - why does it increase so fast in sparsely populated areas?

  • Hallberg Independent Research

Abstract and Figures

Purpose: To investigate the mortality in nervous system-related diseases in different parts of Sweden to see if it may have any correlation to mobile phone output power. Methods: The average output power from mobile phones was calculated based on power measurements and information on mobile system coverage over the country. Mortality data was obtained from the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. Results: The main contribution to the increased mortality in nervous systemrelated diseases was deaths due to increasing mortality in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The correlation between mobile phone average output power and mortality has increased the last few years and is today significant. Conclusions: The mortality in Alzheimer's disease appears to be associated with mobile phone output power. The mortality is increasing fast and is expected to increase substantially within the next 10 years. Deeper studies in this complex area are necessary.
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1) Polkavägen 14B, 142 65 Trångsund, Sweden
2) Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute,
S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Reprint requests and correspondence to: Örjan Hallberg, e-mail:
Hallberg Ö, Johansson O. Alzheimer mortality - why does it increase so fast in sparsely populated areas?
European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics. 2005; 1: 225-246.
Purpose: To investigate the mortality in nervous system-related diseases in different parts of Sweden to see if it may have any
correlation to mobile phone output power. Methods: The average output power from mobile phones was calculated based on
power measurements and information on mobile system coverage over the country. Mortality data was obtained from the
National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. Results: The main contribution to the increased mortality in nervous system-
related diseases was deaths due to increasing mortality in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The correlation between mobile phone
average output power and mortality has increased the last few years and is today significant. Conclusions: The mortality in
Alzheimer's disease appears to be associated with mobile phone output power. The mortality is increasing fast and is expected
to increase substantially within the next 10 years. Deeper studies in this complex area are necessary.
Telia AB and Ericsson Research have demonstrated that the average output power from mobile phones varies between
different parts of Sweden due to varying degrees of mobile system coverage [1]. This degree of coverage is well
documented on the web pages issued by the main Swedish mobile system operators, Telia AB, Tele2 AB and Vodafone
AB. It is also evident that the health care costs are the largest in counties having high average output pulse power from
mobile phones [2].
Several scientific studies point at risks for decreased health, e.g. cochlea nerve cancer [3,4] after long term use of
mobile phones. We thus decided to study if counties where the average output power from the mobile phones is high also
have a high mortality in nervous system diseases.
Recent investigations of the effect from microwave radiation on the brain has risen the fear that it might accelerate
Alzheimer's disease (AD). "What can be red from these results is that there is a suspected health risk in using a mobile
phone. A disease like Alzheimer's disease might appear after ten years or so" [5].
Another nervous system disease is ALS, amyotrophical lateral sclerosis, that primarily attacks the spinal nerves and
to a less extent the brain. No reports or suggestions have so far been put forward to connect ALS with the use of mobile
phones. The hypothesis to test is thus that Alzheimer mortality should show a significant correlation with the output power
from the mobile phones while no such correlation should be found for ALS.
The average output pulse power from mobile phones was calculated based on mobile phone coverage maps over all
counties in Sweden together with real measurements of output power in several parts of Sweden. The measured output
power [1] was used to 'calibrate' the coverage information by a simple model: P(W) = 2-0,95T-0,55 T2 where T is the
fraction of the county area that is claimed to have full coverage according to the operators. The coverage T represents the
status around 1999 according to available coverage maps and can here be seen as some kind of average for the time period
1997 to 2001. The modelling thus did not consider the variation in coverage over time. Note that the output power
represents an average value for all mobile phones in the county and not an individual level for one single phone. The output
power from one individual phone may at a given time be as low as 2 mW while the lowest average value according to the
model is 500 mW.
All data on the mortality in nervous system diseases was obtained from The National Board of Health and Welfare
in Sweden. It became obvious that this mortality showed an increase from the late 1980's. All main groups according to the
classification were then analysed for trend changes and we found that the single main contributor to the increasing
mortality was that of Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD was then studied regarding its mortality over the time period 1969 to
2002, both regarding trends and correlation to mobile phone output power data. The mortality data was also reviewed for
all different age groups and the changing number of deaths per age group. Another nervous disease, ALS, was also studied
regarding its mortality and possible correlation to mobile phone output power in the Swedish counties.
Figure 1 shows that the number of deaths in nervous system diseases started to increase from late 1980's and onwards. In
the same graph is given the number of deaths in circulation-related diseases, where no such trend-break is seen. As a matter
of fact, this trend is continuously improving.
A closer analysis of different diseases within the group "nervous system diseases" revealed that AD was the main
contributor to the strong increase of deaths during the years since the late 1980's.
Figure 2 shows the crude mortality in AD according to The National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. In the
same diagram the accumulated numbers of spoken mobile phone minutes since 1981 have been added.
Figure 2 made it logical to investigate if counties having high output power from mobile phones also have a high
mortality in AD and other nervous system diseases. This is presented in Figure 3. Figure 4 shows that the mortality in AD
has been increasing faster in the more sparsely populated counties of Sweden then in more densely populated counties.
In Figure 3 we noticed a significant correlation between average output power and the average mortality in AD during 2000
to 2002. It is worth mentioning that mobile phones and related transmitters first became available for public communication
in 1981.
A similar analysis of the correlation between ALS mortality and output power from mobile phones was done. Figure
5 shows that in this case no correlation was found.
Figure 6 gives the age-specific mortality in AD in Sweden for the years 1969 to 2002 and Figure 7 gives the age-
standardised mortality (ASR 1970) for the same years.
Figure 8 shows, finally, the extrapolated number of annual deaths in AD based on estimated future prevalence of
AD in Sweden [6].
This disease is typically affecting elderly people but hits occasionally also people under 50 years of age. Both men and
women are victims. Before 1981 only a few deaths (<40) were registered as caused by AD. According to Kjell Asplund at
the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden those were mostly younger victims. Older cases were not always
registered as deaths due to Alzheimer, but more likely due to other reasons. However, as time passed deaths due to AD
became more frequently noticed and the outcome can be seen in Figure 2. This also means that the earlier low numbers of
Alzheimer deaths actually might have been somewhat larger if the underlying cause of death had been more carefully
Over the time there have been changes in death-cause classification [7]. However, according to the National Board
of Health and Welfare in Sweden there was not a substantial change in the classification of Alzheimer deaths in 1997, i.e.
Alzheimer deaths after 1997 includes also pre-senile dementia deaths just as before. Figure 1 also shows that there was no
stepwise increase of the number of deaths due to AD between 1996 and 1997 as clearly was the case for the deaths from
other nervous diseases.
Figure 2 indicates a possible relationship between the use of mobile phones and deaths in AD. Such a connection
has been indicated by animal studies [8, 9]. The fact that we can see a significant connection between the mortality of this
disease and the average output pulse power from mobile phones also gives a strong argument to suspect a connection
between the disease and the use of mobile phones.
Figure 6 shows that the mortality in age groups 62, 67 and 72 years have stabilised while age groups 77 to 85+ still
are continuously increasing or possibly just about to settle (77). This could indicate that an environmental change suddenly
started to affect elderly people. A similar pattern, effective from the age of puberty, seems to have developed since 1955 in
Sweden regarding malignant melanoma of skin [10].
There are a some questions related to this study worth discussing:
1. Is there any risk of passive exposure?
Yes, but this is part of the general exposure picture from mobile phones. Either you talk in the phone yourself or a
neighbour in the bus will expose you to 900 MHz/1800 MHz. This does not change the analysis at all in this case.
2. Is it enough with “one/few” exposure or is the cumulative exposure of importance for the development of the
We have not shown that the disease is caused by using mobile phones, but that the cumulative exposure may accelerate the
mortality among AD victims.
3. Is there a latency period between exposure and death? How long?
The accumulated risk of dying from AD is a strong function of age, or actually as it seems, exposure time from the date one
has been diagnosed by AD. Figure 6 shows that 10-15 years after 70 years of age the mortality will today increase quite
4. Is there a plausible biological explanation?
It has been postulated [5] that mobile phone radiation might cause Alzheimer disease after approximately 10 years of use.
The fear is based on experimental results from rat studies of the interaction between mobile phones and the brain,
predominantly the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). This interaction has been demonstrated by different independent studies
already in the 1970's.
5. Do persons with the disease use mobile phones more frequently than those without the disease?
This has not been studied, yet. The question refers to the relative rate of mobile phone use among Alzheimer patients and
the normal population. Actually, it is more likely that Alzheimer patients do not use mobile phones as much as the normal
population. If they have been using mobiles more frequently before they turned ill still needs to be determined.
Our main hypothesis is that already developed cases of Alzheimer's disease will accelerate and generate a higher
death-rate due to the generally increasing exposure to radiation from their own mobile phones, neighbours in the bus and
from mobile phone base stations.
6. Are the age, sex and geographical distributions of the outcome and the independent variables in agreement?
Yes, mortality is increasing for the oldest age-groups and is stable for younger groups according to Figure 6. There is not a
noticeable difference between the sexes in mortality. The geographical distribution follows the coverage from the mobile
phone system at a significant level (p<0.002), see Figure 3. It also turns out that the mortality (Age Standardised Rate,
ASR) has been increasing more in sparsely populated counties than it has in the more densely populated counties, see
Figure 4.
7. Does the exposure cause the disease or is it a promoter for deaths among individuals with the disease?
At present the hypothesis is that exposure to mobile phone radiation promotes the disease to progress towards death. We
still have to investigate the influence, if any, it may have on the initiation and onset of new cases of Alzheimer's disease.
This is a quite separate study.
8. Could this be a coincidence?
Traditionally, the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden and the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority as well
as textbooks point at the use of incidence rather than mortality for ecological studies. However, when we are going to look
at the influence from a suddenly imposed environmental stress, such as the FM broadcasting in 1955, or the mobile phones,
the mortality may be the first characteristic that reacts on the exposure. This is because there always are a number of
patients, still alive, who suddenly gets an attack on their immune defence system. And who will first die from this type of
attack, healthy people or already weakened cancer patients?
We can not state, based on the material presented here, that mobile phones cause AD, but we can raise a warning for
a possible danger that mobile phone use may make the disease worse. The fact that older age-groups still show increasing
mortality while younger groups are stable indicates that a sudden change to the environment has taken place, possibly from
the midst of the 1980's.
1. The mortality in Alzheimer's disease is significantly higher in counties having higher output pulse power from mobile
phones than in those having lower output power.
2. The mortality has increased by 106% from 1997 to 2002 in sparsely populated counties and by 71% in the more
densely populated counties.
3. Simply by extrapolating the trends of annual deaths in AD we expect over 1600 deaths per year due to AD in Sweden
by 2015.
4. ALS mortality does not seem to be associated with the mobile phone output power in different Swedish counties.
5. It is highly motivated to invest more effort into deeper studies of the relationships presented in this short report.
The authors acknowledge the support from Dr Kerstin Wiklund, in giving valuable comments to the discussion chapter.
1. Persson T, Törnevik C, Larsson L.E., Lovén J. 2002. GSM Mobile phone output power distribution by network
analysis of all calls in some urban, rural and in-office networks, complemented by test phone measurements.
Bioelectromagnetics Society Annual Meeting, Quebeq, Canada, June 23-27, 2002.
2. Hallberg Ö, Johansson O. 2004. Mobile handset power and health. Electromagn Biol Med; 23: 229-239.
3. Hardell L, Mild KH, Carlberg M. 2003. Further aspects on cellular and cordless telephones and brain tumours. Int J
Oncology; 22: 399-407.
4. Lönn S, Ahlbom A, Hall P, Feychting M. 2004. Mobile phone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma. Epidemiology; 15:
5. Professor Bertil Persson interviewed by Aftonbladet, 2000-02-11;
6. Sjöberg M. På väg mot en god demensvård Samhällets insatser för personer med demenssjukdomar och deras
anhöriga (Report in Swedish), Social Ministry, Ds 2003:47.
7. Måns Rosén, the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden, e-mail comment, 2004,
8. Salford LG, Brun A, Sturesson K, Eberhardt JL, Persson BR. 1994. Permeability of the blood-brain barrier induced by
915 MHz electromagnetic radiation, continuous wave at 8, 16, 50 and 200 Hz. Microsc Res Tech; 27: 535-542.
9. Salford LG, Brun A, Sturesson K, Eberhardt JL, Persson BR. 2003. Nerve cell damage in mammalian brain after
exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones. Environ Health Perspect; 111: 881-883.
10. Hallberg Ö, Johansson O. 2005. FM broadcasting exposure time and malignant melanoma incidence. Electromagn Biol
Med; 24: 1-8.
Figure 1. Number of deaths in Alzheimer's disease and other nervous system- and circulation-related diseases in Sweden.
Figure 2. The crude mortality in Alzheimer's disease is accelerating and looks similar to the accumulated number of mobile
phone minutes spoken since 1981. GEM = Giga Ear-heating Minutes.
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Nervous system deaths
Circulation deaths
Alz Nerve Total Circulation
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Mortality (1/100,000)
Acc mobile use time
(109 minutes)
Mortality NMT+GSM GEM
Figure 3. The graph gives the age-standardised mortality (ASR) in Alzheimer's disease and in other nervous diseases in all
Swedish counties between 2000 and 2002 vs. the average estimated output mobile phone peak pulse power.
Figure 4. This graph shows the age-standardised mortality (ASR) due to Alzheimer's disease in sparsely and densely
populated counties in Sweden from 1997 to 2002.
R2 = 0,121
R2 = 0,4106
00,5 11,5 2
Output power (W)
Mean mortality 2000-2002
Nerve Alz
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Mortality ASR (1/100,000)
<31/km2 >31/km2
Figure 5. The crude rate mortality in ALS measured as average for the time period 1997-2001 is plotted against the
average output peak pulse power from mobile phones in all Swedish counties.
Figure 6. The age-specific mortality in Alzheimer's disease is continuously increasing among older age groups.
Figure 7. The age-standardised mortality (ASR) is increasing at an accelerating rate.
R2 = 2E-05
00,5 11,5 2
Average output pulse power (W)
Mortality CR (1/100,000)
Age (years)
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Mortality (1/100,000)
60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84 85+
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Mortality ASR (1/100,000)
Figure 8. The annual number of deaths in AD has here been extrapolated up to year 2015.
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Deaths per year
60-64 65-69 70-74 75-79 80-84
85+ Total
... A detailed analysis of AD death rates in Sweden through the year 2002 was published previously [2]; data through the year 2006 are now available for analysis. The author wished to develop a mathematical model that could estimate both age-standardized and age-specific future mortality rates and simulate mortality trends. ...
... Hallberg and Johansson [2] reported previously that the death rate of AD is increasing most in sparsely populated areas of Sweden, and that this increase can be associated with the higher-than-average output power from mobile phones in these more remote areas. This raises the possibility that the use of mobile phones, rather than general exposure to base station radiation (which would be lower in sparsely populated areas) could be contributing to the increasing death rate. ...
Full-text available
Mortality data were retrieved from the Swedish death registry for the years 1970-2006. This report presents updated information on mortality from Alzheimer's disease (AD) through the year 2006, as well as a statistical model of AD mortality with predictive value. This model was developed based on a mortality risk function acting after a specific time point, either step-wise on the whole population or on an increasing part of it. Data collected in recent years indicate that mortality is increasing continuously amongst the oldest patients, while younger age-groups show more stable mortality rates. After fitting the statistical model to age-standardized mortality data it also gave age-specific rates that fit well with reported data without further adjustments in model parameters. The data and the corresponding model for AD mortality suggest that the ability of the body to protect itself from AD-related neurological damage has in general became increasingly impaired since about 1985. This impairment has mainly affected people 65 years of age and older since 1985; the model predicts that in 2020, the age-standardized mortality in Sweden will be 13/100,000 person-years. The author concludes that the increasing mortality is real and not only a result of increasing use of the death classification code for AD.
... Experiments in mice point to that it may be true already in five generations time. More recently, my colleague Örjan Hallberg and myself have conducted important epidemiological studies (29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34) showing that wireless communication networks may be causing significant illness throughout society. We have also shown that increased rates of asthma as well as certain types of cancer are strongly correlated with exposure to radio broadcasting during the twentieth century. ...
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In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity is recognized as a functional impairment which implies only the environment as the culprit. The Swedish view provides persons with this impairment a maximal legal protection, it gives them the right to get accessibility measures for free, as well as governmental subsidies and municipality economic support, and to provide them with special Ombudsmen (at the municipality, the EU, and the UN level, respectively), the right and economic means to form disability organizations and allow these to be part of national and international counterparts, all with the simple and single aim to allow persons with the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity to live an equal life in a society based on equality. They are not seen as patients, the do not have an overriding medical diagnosis, but the 'patient' is only the inferior and potentially toxic environment. This does not mean that a subjective symptom of a functionally impaired can not be treated by a physician, as well as get sick-leave from their workplace as well as economic compensation, and already in the year 2000 such symptoms were identified in the Internal Code of Diagnoses, version 10 (ICD-10; R68.8/now W90), and have been since. But the underlying cause still remains only the environment.
... SoS also claims that there are no grounds for stating that mortality has actually increased. However, a thorough analysis of the data indicates that there is an increase in mortality in older people with this disease [3]. 5. ...
The object of this work was to review recent trends in public health in Sweden. Data on different adverse health indicators were collected from official Swedish registries. We found that population health generally improved during the early 1990s but suddenly started to deteriorate from 1997 onwards. This quite dramatic change is not likely to be explained only by improved diagnostics but physical causes need immediately to be searched for. A connection with the increasing exposure of the population to GHz radiation from mobile phones, base stations and other communication technologies cannot be ruled out.
... The time frame in which the changes occurred coincided with installation of the first 1800 MHz transmission antennas and the first digital television transmitters throughout Sweden. The coincidence extends to diseases one would not assume to be related to electromagnetic causes: prostate cancer in Sweden has increased by 32% since 1997, and a significant increase in deaths due to Alzheimer's disease correlates strongly with estimated cell phone power output (Hallberg and Johansson, 2005). ...
Earlier studies on health characteristics in Sweden have pointed at a sudden trend change in general health indicators around 1997. The decline was worse in areas with less estimated coverage by the mobile phone system; that is, areas where the average output power from mobile phone handsets is expected to be higher. In this study, health parameters were related to the population density, which is a well defined, rather than an estimated variable. Statistics were obtained from different authorities in Sweden. Data were correlated to the population densities in the 21 different counties of Sweden as well as to estimates of average mobile phone output power. Several health quality measures showed that people in sparsely populated counties in Sweden (as well as in Denmark and Norway) have suffered more illness, and lengthier recovery than people in more densely populated areas since 1997. This is in strong contrast to the situation 20 years ago, when the countryside was the healthiest place in which to live. The indicators strongly correlated with estimated mobile phone area coverage and estimated power output. The indicator statistics suggest that the decline in health in Sweden is not a primary consequence of low population density by itself, but that other factors related to population density are causative. The two factors having the strongest correlation with decreased health quality were the estimated average power output from mobile phones (positive correlation) and the reported coverage from the global system for mobile communication base stations (negative correlation) in each county.
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In the present study, facial skin from so-called "screen dermatitis" patients were compared with corresponding material from normal healthy volunteers. The aim of the study was to evaluate possible markers to be used for future double-blind or blind provocation investigations. Differences were found for the biological markers calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), somatostatin (SOM), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), peptide histidine isoleucine amide (PHI), neuropeptide tyrosine (NPY), protein S-100 (S-100), neuron-specific enolase (NSE), protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). The overall impression in the blind-coded material was such that it turned out easy to blindly separate the two groups from each other. However, no single marker was 100% able to pin-point the difference, although some were quite powerful in doing so (CGRP, SOM, S-100). However, it has to be pointed out that we cannot, based upon the present results, draw any definitive conclusions about the cause of the changes observed. Whether this is due to electric or magnetic fields, a surrounding airborne chemical, humidity, heating, stress factors, or something else, still remains an open question. Blind or double-blind provocations in a controlled environment are necessary to elucidate possible underlying causes for the changes reported in this investigation.
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Recently, a new category of persons, claiming to suffer from exposure to electromagnetic fields, has been described in the literature. In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is an officially fully recognized functional impairment (i.e., it is not regarded as a disease). Survey studies show that somewhere between 230,000-290,000 Swedish men and women report a variety of symptoms when being in contact with electromagnetic field (EMF) sources. The aim of our studies has been to investigate possible alterations, in the cellular and neuronal systems of these person' skin. As controls, age- and sex-matched persons, without any subjective or clinical symptoms or dermatological history, served. Immunohistochemistry using antisera to the previously characterized marker substances of interest has been utilized. In summary, it is evident from our preliminary data that various alterations are present in the electrohypersensitive person' skin. In view of recent epidemiological studies, pointing to a correlation between long-term exposure from power-frequent magnetic fields or microwaves and cancer, our data ought to be taken seriously and further analyzed.
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The public health situation in Sweden has become drastically worse since the Autumn of 1997. A massive roll-out of GSM main transmitter towers and roof-mounted transmitters that became allowed after mid-1997 led to a booming sale of GSM handsets all over Sweden. The authorities in Sweden have issued a brochure on ‘Radiation from Mobile Systems’ [[1]] stating that good transmitter coverage leads to low handset output power that can vary from 2 W down to 0.001 W [[2]]. Thus, we examined health statistics data and GSM coverage in all counties in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Here, we show that there is a very strong correlation between health degradation and weak GSM coverage, while there is no such relation noticed for the time period 1981–1991 when no handset power regulation was applied. The immediate implications from this study are the needs for: 1) a deeper analysis of handset power levels and health statistics and, 2) reconsideration of the planned massive roll-out of yet another mobile system (3G).
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Biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the blood‐brain barrier (BBB) can be studied in sensitive and specific models. In a previous investigation of the permeability of the blood‐brain barrier after exposure to the various EMF‐components of proton magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we found that the exposure to MRI induced leakage of Evans Blue labeled proteins normally not passing the BBB of rats [Salford et al. (1992), in: Resonance Phenomena in Biology , Oxford University Press, pp. 87–91]. In the present investigation we exposed male and female Fischer 344 rats in a transverse electromagnetic transmission line chamber to microwaves of 915 MHz as continuous wave (CW) and pulse‐modulated with repetition rates of 8, 16, 50, and 200 s ⁻¹ . The specific energy absorption rate (SAR) varied between 0.016 and 5 W/kg. The rats were not anesthetized during the 2‐hour exposure. All animals were sacrificed by perfusion‐fixation of the brains under chloral hydrate anesthesia about 1 hour after the exposure. The brains were perfused with saline for 3–4 minutes, and thereafter fixed in 4% formaldehyde for 5–6 minutes. Central coronal sections of the brains were dehydrated and embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 μm. Albumin and fibrinogen were demonstrated immunohistochemically. The results show albumin leakage in 5 of 62 of the controls and in 56 of 184 of the animals exposed to 915 MHz microwaves. Continuous wave resulted in 14 positive findings of 35, which differ significantly from the controls ( P = 0.002). With pulsed 915 MHz microwaves with repetition rates of 200, 50, 16, and 8 s ⁻¹ , 42 of 149 were positive, which is highly significant at the P = 0.001 level. This reveals that both CW and pulsed 915 MHz microwaves have the potential to open up the BBB for albumin passage. However, there is no significant difference between continuous and pulsed 915 MHz microwaves in this respect. The frequency of occurrence of extravasates (26%) was found to be independent of SAR for SAR < 2.5 W/kg, but rose significantly for the higher SAR values (to 43%). The question of whether the opening of the blood‐brain barrier constitutes a health hazard demands further investigation. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
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The possible risks of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields for the human body is a growing concern for our society. We have previously shown that weak pulsed microwaves give rise to a significant leakage of albumin through the blood-brain barrier. In this study we investigated whether a pathologic leakage across the blood-brain barrier might be combined with damage to the neurons. Three groups each of eight rats were exposed for 2 hr to Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) mobile phone electromagnetic fields of different strengths. We found highly significant (p< 0.002) evidence for neuronal damage in the cortex, hippocampus, and basal ganglia in the brains of exposed rats.
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We included in a case-control study on brain tumours and mobile and cordless telephones 1,617 patients aged 20-80 years of both sexes diagnosed during January 1, 1997 to June 30, 2000. They were alive at the study time and had histopathology verified brain tumour. One matched control to each case was selected from the Swedish Population Register. The study area was the Uppsala-Orebro, Stockholm, Linköping and Göteborg medical regions of Sweden. Exposure was assessed by a questionnaire that was answered by 1,429 (88%) cases and 1,470 (91%) controls. In total use of analogue cellular telephones gave an increased risk with odds ratio (OR)=1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04-1.6, whereas digital and cordless phones did not overall increase the risk significantly. Ipsilateral use of analogue phones gave OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.2-2.3, digital phones OR=1.3, 95% CI=1.02-1.8 and cordless phones OR=1.2, 95% CI=0.9-1.6. The risk for ipsilateral use was significantly increased for astrocytoma for all studied phone types, analogue phones OR=1.8,95% CI=1.1-3.2, digital phones OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.1-2.8, cordless phones OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.1-2.9. Use of a telephone on the opposite side of the brain was not associated with a significantly increased risk for brain tumours. Regarding anatomical area of the tumour and exposure to microwaves, the risk was increased for tumours located in the temporal area on the same side of the brain that was used during phone calls, significantly so for analogue cellular telephones OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.2-4.1. For acoustic neurinoma OR=4.4, 95% CI=2.1-9.2 was calculated among analogue cellular telephone users. When duration of use was analysed as a continuous variable in the total material, the risk increased per year for analogue phones with OR=1.04, 95% CI=1.01-1.08. For astrocytoma and ipsilateral use the trend was for analogue phones OR=1.10, 95% CI=1.02-1.19, digital phones OR=1.11, 95% CI=1.01-1.22, and cordless phones OR=1.09, 95% CI=1.01-1.19. There was a tendency of a shorter tumour induction period for ipsilateral exposure to microwaves than for contralateral, which may indicate a tumour promotor effect.
Object: To analyze the age-specific incidence of malignant melanoma in Sweden since 1958 in order to see if the reported general increase in incidence would be explained by a sudden exposure to an environmental stress to the population. Methods: Incidence data for all age groups was collected from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare databases for each year between 1958 and 2002. The incidence in all 288 municipalities of Sweden was correlated to the number of FM transmitters covering each municipality. Results: The age-specific incidence was found to be constant over the last 20–30 years for people younger than 50 years while the incidence for older age groups still are constantly increasing. The total incidence in different municipalities was found to be a strong function of the number of covering FM transmitters. Conclusions: The age-specific incidence of malignant melanoma of the skin appears to be following a pattern of response to an imposed environmental change in 1955. We believe that the frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting radiation at whole-body resonant frequencies is such an environmental stress.
Radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones is concentrated to the tissue closest to the handset, which includes the auditory nerve. If this type of exposure increases tumor risk, acoustic neuroma would be a potential concern. In this population-based case-control study we identified all cases age 20 to 69 years diagnosed with acoustic neuroma during 1999 to 2002 in certain parts of Sweden. Controls were randomly selected from the study base, stratified on age, sex, and residential area. Detailed information about mobile phone use and other environmental exposures was collected from 148 (93%) cases and 604 (72%) controls. The overall odds ratio for acoustic neuroma associated with regular mobile phone use was 1.0 (95% confidence interval = 0.6-1.5). Ten years after the start of mobile phone use the estimates relative risk increased to 1.9 (0.9-4.1); when restricting to tumors on the same side of the head as the phone was normally used, the relative risk was 3.9 (1.6-9.5). Our findings do not indicate an increased risk of acoustic neuroma related to short-term mobile phone use after a short latency period. However, our data suggest an increased risk of acoustic neuroma associated with mobile phone use of at least 10 years' duration.
the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden, e-mail comment
  • Måns Rosén
Måns Rosén, the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden, e-mail comment, 2004,
På väg mot en god demensvård -Samhällets insatser för personer med demenssjukdomar och deras anhöriga
  • M Sjöberg
Sjöberg M. På väg mot en god demensvård -Samhällets insatser för personer med demenssjukdomar och deras anhöriga (Report in Swedish), Social Ministry, Ds 2003:47.
GSM Mobile phone output power distribution by network analysis of all calls in some urban, rural and in-office networks, complemented by test phone measurements
  • T Persson
  • C Törnevik
  • L E Larsson
  • J Lovén
Persson T, Törnevik C, Larsson L.E., Lovén J. 2002. GSM Mobile phone output power distribution by network analysis of all calls in some urban, rural and in-office networks, complemented by test phone measurements. Bioelectromagnetics Society Annual Meeting, Quebeq, Canada, June 23-27, 2002.