Breastfeeding patterns and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Br J Cancer. 2005 Aug 8;93(3):379-84. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602706.


The risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) was investigated in relation to breastfeeding patterns in the Northern California Childhood Leukaemia Study. Data collected by self-administered and in-person questionnaires from biological mothers of leukaemia cases (age 0-14 years) in the period 1995-2002 were matched to birth certificate controls on date of birth, sex, Hispanic ethnic status, and maternal race. Ever compared to never breastfeeding was not associated with risk of ALL at ages 1-14 years (odds ratio=0.99; 95% CI=0.64-1.55) and ages 2-5 years (OR=1.49; 95% CI=0.83-2.65). Various measures of breastfeeding duration compared to absence of breastfeeding also had no significant effect on risk. Complimentary feeding characteristics such as type of milk/formula used and age started eating solid foods among breastfed children were not associated with ALL risk. This study provides no evidence that breastfeeding affects the occurrence of childhood ALL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bottle Feeding
  • Breast Feeding / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors