Supplementary oxygen and risk of childhood lymphatic leukaemia

Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(12):1328-33. doi: 10.1080/08035250216105.


Aim: Childhood leukaemia has been linked to several factors, such as asphyxia and birthweight, which in turn are related to newborn resuscitation. Based on the findings from a previous study a population-based case-control study was performed to investigate the association between childhood leukaemia and exposure to supplementary oxygen and other birth-related factors.

Methods: Children born in Sweden and diagnosed with lymphatic leukaemia between 1973 and 1989 (578 cases) were individually matched by gender and date of birth to a randomly selected control. Children with Down's syndrome were excluded. Exposure data were blindly gathered from antenatal, obstetric and other standardized medical records. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated by conditional logistic regression.

Results: Resuscitation with 100% oxygen with a facemask and bag immediately postpartum was significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood lymphatic leukaemia (OR = 2.57, 95% Cl 1.21-6.82). The oxygen-related risk further increased if the manual ventilation lasted for 3 min or more (OR = 3.54, 95% CI 1.16-10.80). Low Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min were associated with a non-significantly increased risk of lymphatic leukaemia. There were no associations between lymphatic leukaemia and supplementary oxygen later in the neonatal period or other birth-related factors.

Conclusion: Resuscitation with 100% oxygen immediately postpartum is associated with childhood lymphatic leukaemia, but further studies are warranted to confirm the findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Apgar Score
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / epidemiology*
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / etiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Resuscitation / adverse effects
  • Sweden / epidemiology