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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 11, 2022

A meta-analysis of the risk of salivary gland tumors associated with mobile phone use: the importance of correct exposure assessment

  • Keshini Vijayan and Guy D. Eslick ORCID logo EMAIL logo



To investigate the risk of developing salivary gland tumors associated with the use of mobile phones.


There have been a number of epidemiological studies conducted to assess for a possible association between mobile phone usage and the development of intracranial tumours, however results have been conflicting. We conducted an extensive literature search across four different databases was conducted. After selecting the articles relevant to the area of study, a total of seven studies were included in this meta-analysis, with no restrictions set on publication date or language. Studies were qualitatively assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. No significant association between the use of mobile phones and salivary gland tumors was observed (OR=1.06, 95% CI=0.86–1.32). No evidence for publication bias was detected.

Summary and Outlook

Our findings indicate no significant association between mobile phone usage and salivary gland tumours. However, there were many limitations encountered in these studies, suggesting that the observed result may not be an accurate estimate of the true carcinogenic risk of mobile phones, especially for heavy long-term users. In fact, the studies included in this meta-analysis highlight the need to correctly define exposure assessment in order to ascertain the risk of a certain variable.

Corresponding author: Dr. Guy D. Eslick, Clinical Links Using Evidence-based Data (CLUED Pty Ltd), Sydney, Australia, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: There was no funding for this research study.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission. Study concept and design: Guy D. Eslick, Keshini Vijayan. Acquisition of data: Keshini Vijayan. Analysis and interpretation of data: Guy D. Eslick, Keshini Vijayan. Drafting of the manuscript: Keshini Vijayan. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Guy D. Eslick. Statistical analysis: Guy D. Eslick. Study supervision: Guy D. Eslick.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  5. Ethical approval: Not applicable.


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Received: 2022-03-22
Accepted: 2022-06-09
Published Online: 2022-07-11
Published in Print: 2023-12-15

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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