Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, a new study has found
New research has concluded that women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems.
A study of more than 13,000 children by the universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Aarhus, Denmark found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age.
The study involved scientists questioning the mothers of 13,159 children born in Denmark in the late 1990s about their phone use in pregnancy, and their children's use of them and behaviour up to the age of seven.
It was found that mothers who did use the handsets (which were much less common at the time) were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems.
It was also found that the more that handsets were used the higher the likelihood of problem developing.
Children who used mobile phones themselves were 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behaviour; 25 per cent more at risk from emotional problems; 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers; 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive; and 49 per cent more prone to problems with conduct.
While the study authors said the results were "surprising" and could not be accounted for due to other factors such as smoking they said that the results should be treated with caution.
They stressed that other casual factors could be at play, such as less attention given to children by women who use mobile phones, and that further research is needed to discover the true reason for the connection.
Full results of the study will be published in the July issue of the medical journal Epidemiology.