Risk of primary childhood brain tumors related to birth characteristics: a Norwegian prospective study

Int J Cancer. 1998 Aug 12;77(4):498-503. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19980812)77:4<498::aid-ijc4>3.0.co;2-p.


Relations between birth characteristics and risk of primary brain tumor were explored in a prospective study of the 1,489,297 children born in Norway between 1967 and 1992. A total of 459 primary brain tumors, including 78 medulloblastomas and 168 astrocytomas, were diagnosed in the age interval 0-15 years. The overall risk of brain tumor depended on the season of birth (p = 0.01), with a higher risk for children born in winter than those born in spring [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.52; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18-1.97]. An inverse association was observed with father's age at birth of child. The risk of medulloblastoma was positively associated with birth weight (IRR = 1.27/500 g; p = 0.05). Inverse relationships with length at birth were found for astrocytoma in the 0-1 and 5-10 year age intervals. Among 5-10-year-old children, birth weight was also inversely related to risk of astrocytoma. Our results suggest that risk factors may differ over age intervals and histological subgroups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Astrocytoma / epidemiology*
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Birth Weight*
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / epidemiology*
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons*
  • Sex Factors