American Journal of Public Health Research
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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2019, 7(4), 161-166
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-7-4-6
Open AccessArticle

New Trend of Headaches among High School Students Affected by Smartphone Electromagnetic Pollution Exposures: A Time Series Study

Wanna Chongchitpaisan1, Phongtape Wiwatanadate1, , Surat Tanprawate2, Assawin Narkpongphan3 and Nipapon Siripon4

1Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 52000

2Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 52000

3Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 52000

4Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineer, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 52000

Pub. Date: August 10, 2019

Cite this paper:
Wanna Chongchitpaisan, Phongtape Wiwatanadate, Surat Tanprawate, Assawin Narkpongphan and Nipapon Siripon. New Trend of Headaches among High School Students Affected by Smartphone Electromagnetic Pollution Exposures: A Time Series Study. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2019; 7(4):161-166. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-7-4-6


Increased prevalence of headaches in teenagers is likely attributable to a number of factors in their daily life, especially the use of smartphones. The smartphone is a device that teenagers spend much time using, which correlates with an increased prevalence of headaches. Here we investigated the relationship between smartphone electromagnetic radiation and headaches in high school students. The time series study was conducted from January-April 2015 among 145 high school students in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand, who were selected by a set criteria. A total of 12,969 headache diary records, smartphone output power, and other variables were collected by a smartphone application and transmitted by email to a researcher every day. Data was analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equation. The majority of the study subjects were female, 17.4 years old on average. The prevalence of repeated headaches was 13.4%. The study revealed smartphone output power in the range of 1.80-1.99x10-5mW affected headache symptoms. (Adjusted odds ratio (ORadj):1.84; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.20-2.81). Meanwhile Lag 5 of daily smartphone output power affected the frequency of headaches (ORadj7.58; 95% CI: 2.02-28.44). The factors of younger age, hands-free device use, and internet use had the strongest association with headaches (ORadj1.33; 95% CI: 1.19-1.49, ORadj3.22; 95% CI: 2.25-4.62 and ORadj2.45;95% CI: 1.94-3.10). The results revealed a new trend of headaches in younger “digital age” people affected by electromagnetic pollutants from smartphones. Limited smartphone use, the use of hands-free devices while talking on smartphones, and an older age to start using smartphones are recommended to prevent smartphone-related headaches in teenagers.

smartphone output power new trend of headaches high school students electromagnetic pollution time series study

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