Testicular cancer and cryptorchidism in relation to prenatal factors: case-control studies in Denmark

Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Nov;8(6):904-12. doi: 10.1023/a:1018472530653.


To explore prenatal risk factors that are common to testicular cancer and cryptorchidism, two parallel case-control studies were conducted in Denmark. Information about characteristics of the mother, the pregnancy, and the birth were obtained from the mothers of cases and controls, using a mailed self-administered questionnaire. A maternal age above 30 years was associated with odds ratios (OR) of 1.9 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-3.0) for cryptorchidism and 2.0 (CI = 1.2-3.6) for testicular seminoma; the latter effect was particularly high when the boy was the first child of the mother (OR = 4.1, CI = 1.1-14.6). Birthweights below 3,000 g or above 4,000 g were associated with increased risks of testicular cancer, with ORs up to 2.6 (CI = 1.1-5.9) for birthweight below 2,500 g. For cryptorchidism, there was a monotonous trend in the OR from 0.4 in birthweights above 4,500 g to 2.3 in birthweights below 2,500 g. The association between cryptorchidism and testicular cancer was not attenuated by adjustment for maternal age and birthweight, indicating that all three variables are independent risk factors for testicular cancer. With the exception of high maternal age, which consistently is associated more strongly with seminoma than with non-seminoma, it remains most likely that seminoma and non-seminoma have similar causes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Order
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cryptorchidism / epidemiology*
  • Cryptorchidism / etiology
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Age*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Seminoma / epidemiology*
  • Seminoma / etiology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / etiology