Association of Early Life Factors and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in Childhood: Historical Cohort Study

Br J Cancer. 2002 Feb 1;86(3):356-61. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600012.

Abstract

In a historical cohort study of all singleton live births in Northern Ireland from 1971-86 (n=434,933) associations between early life factors and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were investigated. Multivariable analyses showed a positive association between high paternal age (> or =35 years) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (relative risk=1.49; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.96--2.31) but no association with maternal age. High birth weight (> or =3500 g) was positively associated with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (relative risk=1.66; 95% CI=1.18--2.33). Children of mothers with a previous miscarriage or increased gestation (> or =40 weeks) had reduced risks of ALL (respective relative risks=0.49; 95% CI=0.29--0.80, and 0.67; 95% CI=0.48--0.94). Children born into more crowded households (> or =1 person per room) had substantially lower risks than children born into less crowded homes with also some evidence of a lower risk for children born into homes with three adults (relative risks=0.56; 95% CI=0.35-0.91 and 0.58; 95% CI=0.21-1.61 respectively). These findings indicate that several early life factors, including living conditions in childhood and maternal miscarriage history, influence risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in childhood.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Order
  • Birth Weight
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Northern Ireland / epidemiology
  • Nuclear Family
  • Paternal Age
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class