Increasing rates of brain tumours in the Swedish national inpatient register and the causes of death register.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Apr 3 ;12(4):3793-813. Epub 2015 Apr 3. PMID: 25854296
Radiofrequency emissions in the frequency range 30 kHz-300 GHz were evaluated to be Group 2B, i.e.,"possibly", carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO in May 2011. The Swedish Cancer Register has not shown increasing incidence of brain tumours in recent years and has been used to dismiss epidemiological evidence on a risk. In this study we used the Swedish National Inpatient Register (IPR) and Causes of Death Register (CDR) to further study the incidence comparing with the Cancer Register data for the time period 1998-2013 using joinpoint regression analysis. In the IPR we found a joinpoint in 2007 with Annual Percentage Change (APC) +4.25%, 95% CI +1.98, +6.57% during 2007-2013 for tumours of unknown type in the brain or CNS. In the CDR joinpoint regression found one joinpoint in 2008 with APC during 2008-2013 +22.60%, 95% CI +9.68, +37.03%. These tumour diagnoses would be based on clinical examination, mainly CT and/or MRI, but without histopathology or cytology. No statistically significant increasing incidence was found in the Swedish Cancer Register during these years. We postulate that a large part of brain tumours of unknown type are never reported to the Cancer Register. Furthermore, the frequency of diagnosis based on autopsy has declined substantially due to a general decline of autopsies in Sweden adding further to missing cases. We conclude that the Swedish Cancer Register is not reliable to be used to dismiss results in epidemiological studies on the use of wireless phones and brain tumour risk.