Aims: We conducted a large registry-based study in California to investigate the association of perinatal factors and childhood leukemia with analysis of two major subtypes, acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Methods: We linked California cancer and birth registries to obtain information on 5788 cases and 5788 controls matched on age and sex (1:1). We examined the association of birth weight, gestational age, birth and pregnancy order, parental ages, and specific conditions during pregnancy and risk of total leukemia, ALL and AML using conditional logistic regression, with adjustment for potential confounders.
Results: The odds ratio (OR) per 1000 g increase in birth weight was 1.11 for both total leukemia and ALL. The OR were highest for babies weighing ≥ 4500 g with reference < 2500 g: 1.59 (95% CI: 1.05-2.40) and 1.70 (95% CI: 1.08-2.68) for total leukemia and ALL, respectively. For AML, increase in risk was also observed but the estimate was imprecise due to small numbers. Compared to average-for-gestational age (AGA), large-for-gestational age (LGA) babies were at slightly increased risk of total childhood leukemia (OR = 1.10) and both ALL and AML (OR = 1.07 and OR = 1.13, respectively) but estimates were imprecise. Being small-for-gestational age (SGA) was associated with reduced risk of childhood leukemia (OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67-0.97) and ALL (OR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.63-0.94), but not AML. Being first-born was associated with decreased risk of AML only (OR = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.53-0.93). Compared to children with paternal age <25 years, children with paternal age between 35 and 45 years were at increased risk of total childhood leukemia (OR = 1.12; 95% CI: 1.04-1.40) and ALL (OR = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.04-1.47). None of conditions during pregnancy examined or maternal age were associated with increased risk of childhood leukemia or its subtypes.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that high birth weight and LGA were associated with increased risk and SGA with decreased risk of total childhood leukemia and ALL, being first-born was associated with decreased risk of AML, and advanced paternal age was associated with increased risk of ALL. These findings suggest that associations of childhood leukemia and perinatal factors depend highly on subtype of leukemia.
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