Childhood cancer and parental use of tobacco: findings from the inter-regional epidemiological study of childhood cancer (IRESCC)

Br J Cancer. 2001 Jan 5;84(1):141-6. doi: 10.1054/bjoc.2000.1556.

Abstract

Parental smoking data have been re-abstracted from the interview records of the Inter-Regional Epidemiological Study of Childhood Cancer (IRESCC) to test further the hypothesis that paternal cigarette smoking is a risk factor for the generality of childhood cancer. Reported cigarette smoking habits for the parents of 555 children diagnosed with cancer in the period 1980-1983 were compared, in two separate matched pairs analyses, with similar information for the parents of 555 children selected from GP lists (GP controls) and for the parents of 555 hospitalized children (hospital controls). When cases were compared with GP controls there was a statistically significant positive trend (P = 0.02) between the risk of childhood cancer and paternal daily consumption of cigarettes before the pregnancy; there was no significant trend for maternal smoking habit. When cases were compared with hospital controls there was a statistically significant negative trend (P< 0.001) between the risk of childhood cancer and maternal daily consumption of cigarettes before the pregnancy; there was no significant trend for paternal smoking habit. Neither of the significant trends could be explained by adjustment for socioeconomic grouping, ethnic origin or parental age at the birth of the child, or by simultaneous analysis of parental smoking habits. Relations between maternal consumption of cigarettes and birth weights suggested that (maternal) smoking data were equally reliable for case and control subjects, although comparisons with national data suggested that the hospital control parents were unusually heavy smokers. These findings give some support for the hypothesis that paternal cigarette smoking is a potential risk factor for the generality of childhood cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Fathers*
  • Humans
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*

Substances

  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution