Document Type : Original Research


1 Department of Medical Physics and Engineering, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Shiraz Neuroscience Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Technical Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

4 Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Research Center (INIRPRC), School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran



Background: The rapid increase in the number of Mobile Phone Base Stations (MPBS) has raised global concerns about the potential adverse health effects of exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMF). The application of machine learning techniques can enable healthcare professionals and policymakers to proactively address concerns surrounding RF-EMF exposure near MPBS.
Objective: The current study aimed to investigate the potential of machine learning models for the prediction of health symptoms associated with RF-EMF exposure in individuals residing near MPBS.
Material and Methods: This analytical study utilized Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms, incorporating 11 predictors related to participants’ living conditions. A total of 699 adults participated in the study, and model performance was assessed using sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and the Area Under Curve (AUC).
Results: The SVM-based model demonstrated strong performance, with accuracies of 85.3%, 82%, 84%, 82.4%, and 65.1% for headache, sleep disturbance, dizziness, vertigo, and fatigue, respectively. The corresponding AUC values were 0.99, 0.98, 0.920, 0.89, and 0.81. Compared to the RF model and a previously developed model, the SVM-based model exhibited higher sensitivity, particularly for fatigue, with sensitivities of 70.0%, 83.4%, 85.3%, 73.0%, and 69.0% for these five health symptoms. Particularly for predicting fatigue, sensitivity and AUC were significantly improved (70% vs. 8% and 11.1% for SVM, Multilayer Perceptron Neural Network (MLPNN), and RF, respectively, and 0.81 vs. 0.62 and 0.64, for SVM, MLPNN, and RF, respectively). 
Conclusion: Machine learning methods, specifically SVM, hold promise in effectively managing health symptoms in individuals residing near or planning to settle in the vicinity of MPBS.