E-Health Telecommunication Systems and Networks, 2012, 1, 37-42
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/etsn.2012.14006 Published Online December 2012 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/etsn)
Prevalence of Ringing Delusion among Mobile Phone Users
Neeraj Kumar, Raees A. Khan
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow, India
Email: neerajmtech@gmail.com
Received August 1, 2012; revised September 4, 2012; accepted September 12, 2012
The exponential application of mobile technology has led to a concern about implications of electromagnetic radiation
on human health. As we are aware that mobile phone radiates EMR when users communicate to others and that time
subscribers of the device are regularly exposed nearby 40% - 50% of total mobile irradiation. We analyzed the risk of
“Ringing Delusion” among normal users, moderate users and heavy users when compared to low users. Although the
“Ringing Delusion” has not been added in medical terminology but we found frequently such kind of symptoms among
mobile phone users. “Ringing Delusion” may be considered as an imagination of ringing voice from cellular phone. The
risk was also compared between urban and rural, male and female and adult and children population. The information
was gathered through well designed questionnaires for cellular user’s demographic and social characteristics, adopted
safety measures and calling duration. Prevalence of “Ringing Delusion” among rural users was higher than the urban
users. A trend for the risk was also observed in male users in comparison to female. Study may support innovators to
re-examine health effects of mobile phones.
Keywords: Extensive User; Mobile Phone; Ringing Delusion; Survey Study; Questionnaire; Sensitivity
1. Introduction
The mobile communication has been a blessing to all
human beings and exponential application of mobile
phone is a matter of health debate among clinicians and
technocrats. Particularly adolescent and children are
more fascinated to make use of the mobile phones. De-
veloping phase of the children’s brain and its hypersensi-
tivity to microwave tends to concern about the possibili-
ties of the symptoms by mobile irradiation. Ringing de-
lusion is one of the common symptom or sensation which
has been frequently reported by mobile phone users. Al-
though we have not found the term “Ringing Delusion”
in medical terminology but we may define or understand
such kind of delusion as psychological sensitivity in
which a mobile phone user feels ringing voice of the de-
vice suddenly, but in actual there is no ringing of the
device. In the race to adopt new technologies, we often
ignore the ill effects of the technology and do not real-
ize about it. Presently people are adopting the wireless
communication devices for varied purposes. They feel
comfortable when they communicate to others through
wireless communication devices in the air instead of
wire. Most of these devices work in the radio frequency/
microwave range. Microwave may cause thermal ef-
fects at high exposure levels. Research about the possi-
bility of radiofrequency fields, associated with mobile
phones indicated to cause other adverse health effects
due to over usage. Our previous study [1] has concluded
that the extensive users, they hold mobile phone for a
period above 3 years, were more attentive for “headache”
symptom in comparison to normal users.
An established effect from mobile irradiation, even
small, could affect public health [2]. The effects of
microwave through the mobile phones may produce ac-
cumulated adverse effects over time. The increasing
popularity of wireless communication/cell phone has
caused a concern over possible adverse effects of this
energy on the human health. Over the past few years,
several studies have suggested that radiation emitted by a
cell phone can interact with brain activity and behavior
[3-7], gene expression and DNA [8-13], cell growth, pro-
liferation and tumours [14-20], hormones, proteins and
enzymes [21-27]. There are studies not support the
health hazard from radiofrequency radiation [28-33],
but this does not prove the non-existence of the hazard.
This paper is an attempt to make the reader aware of
possible threat to human life and ecosystem, caused by
mobile devices and wireless communication systems.
Electric currents exist naturally in the human body and
are an essential part of its physiology. All nerves relay
their signals by transmitting electric impulses. Most bio-
chemical reactions i.e. associated with digestion and
transmission of impulses in brain activities electric proc-
esses. The effects of external electromagnetic fields on
the human body depend on the electromagnetic field
opyright © 2012 SciRes. ETSN
frequency and their magnitude or strength. The fre-
quency simply describes the number of oscillations or
cycles per second. At low frequencies electromagnetic
field passes through the body while at radiofrequencies
the fields are partially absorbed and penetrate only a
short depth into the tissue. Low frequency electric fields
influence the distribution of electric charges at surface of
conducting tissues and cause electric current to flow in
the body. Low frequency magnetic field induces circu-
lating currents within the human body. The strength of
these induced currents depends on the intensity of the
outside magnetic fields and the size of the loop through
which the current flows. When sufficiently large, these
currents may cause simulation of nerves and muscles. At
radiofrequencies, the fields penetrate a short distance into
the human body. The energy of these fields is absorbed
and transformed into the moving molecules that result in
a temperature rise. The levels of radiofrequency field to
which people are normally exposed in our environment
are lower to produce significant heating effect. Wireless
communication devices emit radiofrequency radiation
(includes electromagnetic waves, ranging from 300 KHz
to 300 GHz frequencies) and have different interactions
and modulations which give rise to biological effects.
The human body significantly absorbs electromagnetic
radiation (when the frequency exceeds about 15 MHz)
and the rate of absorption varies for different parts of the
body. In the frequency range of 70 - 100 MHz, which
overlaps the TV and FM radio broadcast frequencies, the
body acts as an efficient radiation antenna strongly ab-
sorbing these wave lengths. The different frequencies of
radiofrequency radiation have widely differing wave-
lengths which result in different coupling by the body.
KHz waves are very long, approximately 300 meters and
have maximal coupling. The higher MHz and GHz
waves are centimeters/millimeters in length respectively
and yield exposures in localized deposition areas of skin,
eyes, testis, head or superficial layers of the body. Thus,
energy deposition into the body is complex and varies
across the radiofrequency spectrum. Once radiofre-
quency radiation is coupled to the body, it can interact to
cause biological effects. It is general agreement that if
sufficient energy is absorbed it can cause heating by the
rapidly alternating field agitating dipolar molecules par-
ticularly water and cause deleterious effects like warming
food in a microwave oven. The present safety standards
for radiofrequency radiation are largely based on pre-
venting these effects from heating, the lower frequency
(below to 10 MHz) may cause currents of biological sig-
nificance. In this study we tried to evaluate the risk of the
common sensitivity “ringing delusion” among the normal,
moderate and heavy users when compared to low users in
different ethnicities. Further, to examine the risk of the
ringing delusion among urban and rural, male and female,
adult and children population were the main objects of
our study.
2. Methodology
The risk assessment of the “Ringing Delusion” among
normal users and extensive users was analyzed through a
survey study. Randomly selected 659 mobile phone users
in the country were enquired by survey questionnaire for
their demographic and socio-economic characteristics,
utilization pattern, safety measures, and utilization of the
The questionnaire was pre tested on some individuals
and modifications were done before final administration
to the subjects. The questionnaire was filled by a single
experienced investigator so that there was no chance of
intra observer error. The details of study parameters are
described in Tables 1-3.
3. Data Analysis
The information for each subject from the questionnaire
was transformed into Micro Soft Excel sheet and cross
tabulated using SPSS 15.0 soft ware. The significance
Table 1. Demographic and social characteristics.
S. No.Characteristics Classifications
1. Gender
Primary School
Secondary School
Higher Secondary School
University (UG or PG)
2. Educational Level
Professional Education
Management/Medical Course)
No Income
Rs 5,000
<Rs 5,000 - Rs 10,000>
Rs 10,000 - Rs 20,000>
3. Income
(Monthly in Rs)
Rs 20,000
No of Family Members
No of Mobile Telephone User
No of Teenagers/Children
(Below 20 years)
4. Family Detail
No of Children
(Who has own Mobile
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ETSN
Table 2. Mobile phones utilization patterns.
S. No. Characteristics Classifications
Non-regular use (<1.5 years)
1. Frequency of use
Regular use (>1.5 years)
1.5 years - 3 years>
3 years - 5 years>
2. Life-time years of use
3 years
Dialed calls
3. Number of calls per day
Received calls
1.5 hours
<1.5 hours - 3 hours>
3 hours - 5 hours>
4. Hours of use per day
5 hours
Ringing mode
Vibration mode
5. Mode of use
Both (Ringing + Vibration) Mode
GSM handset
CDMA handset
6. Technology used in
cellular telephone
Both (GSM + CDMA) handset
prevalence of signs and symptoms in relation to age, sex
and duration of use of mobile phones was tested using
Chi Square Test. Fisher’s exact test was used where ex-
pected cell frequencies were less than five. The level of
significance was considered for P < 0.05.
4. Results
In this study, randomly selected 659 mobile phone users
of age, from 14 to 62 years, were enquired as per de-
signed questionnaire. Ringing delusion may realize a
delusion of ringing voice from mobile phones but in real-
ity there were no ringing from the device at same time. In
point of fact the term ‘ringing delusion’ was adopted
only in case of mobile phone users. Near one fourth
participants (163) of the survey were found to be associ-
ated with self reported ringing delusion (Table 4). Preva-
lence of ringing delusion among 659 mobile phone users
was analyzed among NU, MU and HU when compared
to LU. Number of mobile phone users belonging to LU,
NU, MU & HU were 217 (32.9%), 140 (21.2%), 209
(31.7%) & 93 (14.1%) respectively. Overall ringing de
lusion was associated to 24.4% of LU, 22.1% of NU,
24.4% of MU and 30.1% of HU. The significant associa
tion was not found within these individual groups in
Table 3. Adopted safety measures.
S. No.Characteristics Classifications
Left ear side
1. Which ear side user holds
their cell phone during call? Right ear side
Ear phone
Blue tooth
Speaker mode
2. Do you use safety device
during talking on mob phone?
No device
Mobile holder in belt
Left side shirt pocket
Right side shirt pocket
Left side pant pocket
Right side pant pocket
Hanging in neck
3. Where you hold your mobile
phone generally?
In bag
4. Do you switch off your
mobile phone in nights? Yes/No
5. Do you keep your mobile
phone near head during sleep? Yes/No
overall analysis for ringing delusion. The similar results
were found in male, female and children population
when compared to each other. The children participants
in this study were found inadequate. Only 35 children
mobile phone users participated in the survey and 5 users
of them were only reported ringing delusion. Further-
more, there was no significant association found for
ringing delusion among all groups of children and adult
users. Also, no risk was observed among urban and rural
users for ringing delusion. However, a trend was ob-
served within HU of urban areas (0.098) when compared
to LU of same ethnicity (Table 4). Consequently study
revealed that there was no association found for the
symptom ringing delusion among mobile phone users in
Indian population. But study should reexamine in differ-
ent ethnicities among similar population.
5. Conclusions
We can intensify this research for the ringing delusion
1) Prevalence of ringing delusion was higher in rural
than the urban mobile phone users but a trend for the risk
of symptom was found in male mobile phone users when
compared to female mobile phone users.
2) Prevalence of ringing delusion was higher in rural.
Than the urban mobile phone users but a trend for the
risk of symptom was found in male mobile phone users
adult mobile phone users.
3) Prevalence of ringing delusion was higher in rural
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ETSN
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. ETSN
Table 4. Prevalence of ringing delusion.
Participants Low User Normal User Moderate User Heavy User
MP users (659) 217 (32.9%) 140 (21.2%) 209 (31.7%) 93 (14.1%)
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (163) 53 (24.4%) 31 (22.1%) 51 (24.4%) 28 (30.1%)
P-value - 0.620 0.996 0.297
OR (95%CI) Reference 0.880 (0.531 - 1.458) 0.999 (0.642 - 1.554) 1.333 (0.776 - 2.289)
MP users (460) 145 (31.5%) 93 (20.2%) 155 (33.7%) 67 (14.6%)
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (121) 39 (26.9%) 22 (23.7%) 41(26.5%) 19 (28.4%)
P-value - 0.577 0.931 0.824
OR (95%CI) Reference 0.842 (0.461 - 1.539) 0.978 (0.586 - 1.631) 1.076 (0.564 - 2.052)
MP users (199) 72 (36.2%) 47 (23.6%) 54 (27.1%) 26 (13.1%)
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (42) 14 (19.4%) 9 (19.1%) 10 (18.5%) 9 (34.6%)
P-value - 0.968 0.896 0.122
OR (95%CI) Reference 0.981 (0.386 - 2.492) 0.942 (0.382 - 2.319) 2.193 (0.810 - 5.942)
MP users (35) 16 (45.7%) 9 (25.7%) 10 (28.6%) NF
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (5) 4 (25.0%) NF 1 (10.0%) NF
P- value - NF 0.361 NF
OR (95%CI) Reference - 0.333 (0.032 - 3.515) NF
MP users (624) 201 (32.2%) 131 (21.0%) 199 (31.09%) 93 (14.9%)
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (158) 49 (24.4%) 31 (23.7%) 50 (25.1%) 28 (30.1%)
P-value - 0.882 0.862 0.300
OR (95%CI) Reference 0.962 (0.574 - 1.611) 1.041 (0.661 - 1.639) 1.336 (0.773 - 2.311)
MP users (489) 159 (32.5%) 97 (19.8%) 160 (32.7%) 73 (14.9%)
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (110) 34 (21.4%) 19 (19.6%) 34 (21.3%) 23 (31.5%)
P-value - 0.731 0.977 0.098
OR (95%CI) Reference 0.896 (0.478 - 1.679) 0.992 (0.580 - 1.695) 1.691 (0.907 - 3.152)
MP users (170) 58 (34.1%) 43 (25.3%) 49 (28.8%) 20 (11.8%)
Cases of Ringing
Delusion (53) 19 (32.8%) 12 (27.9%) 17 (34.7%) 5 (25.0%)
P-value - 0.601 0.833 0.518
OR (95%CI) Reference 0.795 (0.335 - 1.883) 1.090 (0.488 - 2.437) 0.684 (0.216 - 2.163)
N.B.-LU: Low User (500 hours); NU (>500 and 1000 Hours); MU (>1000 and 5000 Hours); HU (>5000 Hours); MP: Mobile phone; NF: Not Found cases;
Data was analyzed using binary logistic regression test; P-value < 0.05 was considered as significant; OR: odds ratio; CI: confidence interval.
than the urban mobile phone users.
4) The ringing delusion was complied higher by male
than the female mobile phone users.
5) An association was found for ringing delusion
among mobile phone users who put mobile phone near
head compare to those who did not put mobile phone near
head during sleeping in night.
6) Among urban population, risk for the trend for ring-
ing delusion was observed in HU than the LU.
6. Acknowledgements
We this study was carried out within Major Research
Project under Young Scientist Scheme (CST/D 3558(2);
March 31, 2009) funded by the Council of Science and
Technology, Uttar Pradesh, INDIA on “Symptoms and
sensation due to Mobile telephone Usage among the Ur-
ban and Rural Population of Uttar Pradesh: A Risk As-
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