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Mobile phone use in pregnancy 'linked to bad behaviour'

world Updated: Dec 08, 2010 10:49 IST

Moms-to-be, please note -- regular use of cell phones during pregnancy could cause behavioural problems in your offspring, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of California and the University of Southern California have found that the risk is even higher if the offspring start using mobiles themselves by the time they are seven.

However, experts say that they are "skeptical" of the findings published in the latest edition of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

In the latest study, involving 29,000 youngsters, the researchers found that those children who were exposed to mobile phones in the womb and then in early childhood were 50% more likely to have behavioural problems aged seven than youngsters exposed to neither.

Only being exposed to mobile phones while in the womb was linked to a 30% increase, while youngsters who're exposed to phones in childhood but not in the womb were 20% more likely to display abnormal behaviour, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The study is the second such research by the same team to find such an association. The first had involved a separate group of almost 13,000 children. The studies relied on mothers scoring their own child's behaviour and recalling their own mobile phone use.

When the results from both studies were combined, more than 10% of children exposed to mobile phones in pregnancy had mothers who spoke on them at least four times a day, while half women had their phone turned on at all times.