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.