Infectious diseases in the first year of life, perinatal characteristics and childhood acute leukaemia


The objective of the present study was to investigate the role of early common infections and perinatal characteristics in the aetiology of childhood common leukaemia. A case–control study was conducted from 1995 to 1998 in France, and included 473 incident cases of acute leukaemia (AL) (408 acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), 65 acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) age-, sex- and region-matched with 567 population-based controls. Data on the medical history of the child and his/her environment were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Analyses were conducted using nonconditional logistic regression. A slight negative association with early infections was observed (OR=0.8; 95% CI (0.6–1.0)). The association was stronger for early gastrointestinal infections. Early day-care was found to be associated with a decreased risk of AL (OR=0.6; 95% CI (0.4–0.8) and OR=0.8; 95% CI (0.5–1.2) for day-care starting before age 3 months and between 3 and 6 months, respectively). No association with breast-feeding was observed, irrespective of its duration. A birth order of 4 or more was associated with a significantly increased risk of AL (OR=2.0; 95% CI (1.1–3.7) with ALL). A history of asthma was associated with a decreased risk of ALL (OR 0.5; 95% CI (0.3–0.90). Although the results regarding birth order and breast-feeding do not fit with Greaves' hypothesis, the study supports the hypothesis that early common infections may play a protective role in the aetiology of childhood leukaemia, although this effect was not more marked for common ALL.

DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601384

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@article{Silva2004InfectiousDI, title={Infectious diseases in the first year of life, perinatal characteristics and childhood acute leukaemia}, author={Nathalie Jourdan-da Silva and Yves P{\'e}rel and Françoise M{\'e}chinaud and Emmanuel Plouvier and Virginie Gandemer and Patrick S. Lutz and J. P. Vannier and J L Lamagn{\'e}re and Genevi{\`e}ve Margueritte and Patrick Boutard and Annie Robert and C Armari and Martine Munzer and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Millot and Lionel de Lumley and Christian Berthou and Xavier Rialland and Brigitte J. Pautard and Denis H{\'e}mon and Jacqueline Clavel}, journal={British Journal of Cancer}, year={2004}, volume={90}, pages={139 - 145} }