updated 5/11/2006 6:48:08 PM ET 2006-05-11T22:48:08

Federal health officials on Thursday dismissed a recent study suggesting a link between long-term use of cellular and cordless telephones and brain tumors but said they will continue to monitor the safety of the wireless devices.

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The study, a combined analysis of two studies published in 2003 and 2005, found an increased risk of malignant brain tumors associated with use of the phones over a decade or more in populations in Sweden.

The Food and Drug Administration said that finding was inconsistent with the conclusions reached by other studies and pointed out several shortcomings, including the design of the study, which was conducted by surveys distributed by mail, and the lack of supporting data from laboratory animals. That makes the conclusion "difficult to interpret," the FDA said on its Web site.

Scientists do not consider retrospective questionnaires the most accurate method of determining a link between behavior and disease.

The FDA added that it will continue to monitor studies looking at possible health effects resulting from exposure to radio frequency energy. It also plans a meeting "in the near future" to evaluate research on the issue and identify gaps that deserve further study.

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