Direct association of socio-economic status with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children

Leuk Res. 2003 Sep;27(9):789-94. doi: 10.1016/s0145-2126(03)00010-9.


Lymphoblasts from 186 consecutive untreated children <18 years were analysed by flow cytometry in Brazil. Socio-economic status was defined by family income; undernourishment by height and weight for age standardised z scores below -1.28. The observed frequencies were precursor-B (pre-B) CD10 positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) (CD10+) 65%, pre-B CD10 negative (CD10-) 13%, and T-ALL 18%. The typical incidence peak at age 2-5 years was observed among the CD10 positive cases. Nutritional variables were not associated with immunophenotypes. Low monthly per capita income was associated with T-immunophenotype (P=0.024). In conclusion, a direct association between unfavourable socio-economic status and the T-phenotype indicates a potential role of socio-economic factors on the genesis of ALL in children, thus confirming indirect data of the international literature.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / epidemiology*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Male
  • Neprilysin / metabolism
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Social Class*


  • Neprilysin