Background: Prior epidemiological studies suggest a possible association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of childhood neuroblastoma. A meta-analysis was performed statistically surmising all available observational studies on this topic in order to evaluate the potential correlation of maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of childhood neuroblastoma.
Methods: Published literature was obtained from PubMed, Embase, ISI Web of Science, and Cochrane library, and all studies were inclusive until July 2014. Data from epidemiological studies were combined using a general variance-based meta-analytic method employing 95% confidence intervals. The outcome of interest was shown as odds ratio (OR) reflecting the risk of neuroblastoma development associated with smoking while pregnant. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to assess the quality of studies.
Results: Seven case-control studies meeting protocol specified inclusion criteria were obtained through a comprehensive literature search. These studies enrolled a total of 1909 patients and 15,683 controls. Analysis for homogeneity demonstrated that the data were heterogeneous (P < 0.05) and could be statistically combined with randomized effect model. Combining all seven reports yielded an OR of 1.28 (1.01-1.62), a statistically significant result suggesting possible association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of childhood neuroblastoma development (P = 0.005). There was no association between the dosage of maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of neuroblastoma.
Conclusion: The available epidemiological data support a possible association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and pediatric neuroblastoma development.