Medically recorded allergies and the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Eur J Cancer. 2004 Mar;40(4):579-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2003.08.024.


Data on five allergic conditions were abstracted from the medical records of 180 cases of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and 718 matched controls. Odds Ratios (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were estimated for composite variables and for individual allergies using conditional logistic regression modelling. Allergies were divided into late and early diagnoses (those made within the year before the matched case's ALL diagnosis and those made earlier, respectively). Among the early diagnoses, atopy or hives was significantly associated with ALL (OR=2.20; 95% CI: 1.16-4.16). Significant associations were found for late diagnoses of atopy or hives (OR=3.78; 95% CI: 1.00-14.29) and of asthma (OR=3.10; 95% CI: 1.39-6.95). None of the other allergic conditions were associated with ALL. These results are contrary to those of prior studies of childhood ALL and allergy.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / etiology*
  • Risk Factors