Phones are giving youngsters horns. No, really, they are

World

Phones are giving youngsters horns. No, really, they are

These growths are linked to stress on the neck caused by the head being tilted down for extended periods

Sarah Knapton

The overuse of smartphones and handheld devices such as games consoles may be causing “horn-like” growths on the back of the skulls of young people, scientists have warned.

Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, took X-rays of 218 people between 18 and 30 and found that four in 10 had developed a bony lump of up to 3cm just above the top of the neck. A second study of 1,000 people found the strange growths were larger and more common among young adults than with the older population, suggesting they are a relatively recent phenomenon.

David Shahar, who was completing his PhD at USC at the time of the study, said the bony growths were once exclusive to older patients, resulting from the slumping that comes with age. But he was surprised to find so many growths in younger people...

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