Aims: The relationship between mobile phone use for making or receiving calls and hypertension risk remains uncertain. We aimed to examine the associations of mobile phone use for making or receiving calls and the use frequency with new-onset hypertension in the general population, using data from the UK Biobank.
Methods and results: A total of 212 046 participants without prior hypertension in the UK Biobank were included. Participants who have been using a mobile phone at least once per week to make or receive calls were defined as mobile phone users. The primary outcome was new-onset hypertension. During a median follow-up of 12.0 years, 13 984 participants developed new-onset hypertension. Compared with mobile phone non-users, a significantly higher risk of new-onset hypertension was found in mobile phone users [hazards ratio (HR), 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.12]. Among mobile phone users, compared with those with a weekly usage time of mobile phones for making or receiving calls <5 mins, significantly higher risks of new-onset hypertension were found in participants with a weekly usage time of 30–59 mins (HR, 1.08; 95%CI: 1.01–1.16), 1–3 h (HR, 1.13; 95%CI: 1.06–1.22), 4–6 h (HR, 1.16; 95%CI: 1.04–1.29), and >6 h (HR, 1.25; 95%CI: 1.13–1.39) (P for trend <0.001). Moreover, participants with both high genetic risks of hypertension and longer weekly usage time of mobile phones making or receiving calls had the highest risk of new-onset hypertension.
Conclusions: Mobile phone use for making or receiving calls was significantly associated with a higher risk of new-onset hypertension, especially among high-frequency users.