Hand holding a cellphone
August 2, 2012 | News | Living with MSMS Symptoms

Does your cell phone affect your MS?

A Danish study looking at cell phone use among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) has found that phone use doesn’t appear to have an impact on MS, although there were some possible effects on MS symptoms.

Cell phone use has been linked to various health problems, although cause-and-effect is difficult to show. The researchers sifted through records of people in Denmark who had bought a cell phone subscription between 1982 and 1995. As a sign of the times, in 1990 only 1 in 1000 women with MS had a cell phone account and only 2% of men with MS. By 1995, about 4% of women and about 20% of men had signed up. (Cell phone use is now about 87% worldwide, according to mobiThinking, http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a#subscribers.)

Overall, cell phone use among people with MS was not associated with a higher risk of death. There was also no association between cell phone use and a greater likelihood of developing MS.

However, some MS symptoms were more common in cell phone users. For women cell phone users, MS fatigue and double vision were more common. For men cell phone users, optic neuritis and double vision were more common. Cell phones emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields that penetrate about 2-3 inches into the brain (Cardis and colleagues. Phys Med Biol 2008;53: 2771-2783) and are a source of heat, so it’s tempting to speculate that one or both of these factors contributes to more eye symptoms in people with MS. However, it may well be a chance finding and more research would be needed to determine if it’s a true effect.

Share this article
pin it!

Related Posts