Perinatal characteristics and risk of neuroblastoma

Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):1166-72. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23645.


Neuroblastoma (NB), a tumor of the sympathetic nervous system, is the most common infant malignancy. The etiology of NB is largely unknown. We explored the association between birth record variables and subsequent NB development in a population-based case-cohort study in Minnesota by linking the birth and cancer registries. NB cases included 155 children born during 1976-2004 who were diagnosed from 28 days through 14 years of age. The comparison group included 8,752 individuals randomly sampled from the birth cohort of cases. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Controlling for birth year and sex, maternal history of one fetal loss (HR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.5), maternal prenatal drug-use (recorded starting in 1992) (HR = 5.7, 95% CI 2.3-14) and child's small size for gestational age (HR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.0) were significantly associated with NB. Age group specific analyses indicated that maternal hypertension (HR = 3.0, 95% CI 1.3-7.2) and maternal age <20 years (HR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.1) increased risks for infant NB only. Our study provides evidence that a few perinatal exposures as recorded in birth records may play a role in NB etiology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers
  • Nervous System Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neuroblastoma / etiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Sympathetic Nervous System*