Medically diagnosed infections and risk of childhood leukaemia: a population-based case-control study
ABSTRACT Previous studies on the association between childhood infections and childhood leukaemia have produced inconsistent results, likely due to the recall error/bias of infection data reported by the parents. The current study used a population-based and record-based case-control design to evaluate the association between childhood leukaemia and infections using the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan.
In all, 846 childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and 193 acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients newly diagnosed between 2000 and 2008, aged >1 and <10 years, were included. Up to four controls (3374 for ALL and 766 for AML) individually matched to each case on sex, birth date and time of diagnosis (reference date for the controls) were identified. Conditional logistic regression was performed to assess the association between childhood leukaemia and infections.
Having any infection before 1 year of age was associated with an increased risk for both childhood ALL (odds ratio = 3.2, 95% confidence interval 2.2-4.7) and AML (odds ratio = 6.0, 95% confidence interval 2.0-17.8), with a stronger risk associated with more episodes of infections. Similar results were observed for infections occurring >1 year before the cases' diagnosis of childhood leukaemia.
Children with leukaemia may have a dysregulated immune function present at an early age, resulting in more episodes of symptomatic infections compared with healthy controls. However, confounding by other infectious measures such as birth order and day care attendance could not be ruled out. Finally, the results are only relevant to the medically diagnosed infections.
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ABSTRACT: Background Little aetiological epidemiological research has been undertaken for major cancers occurring in teenagers and young adults (TYA). Population mixing, as a possible proxy for infectious exposure, has been well researched for childhood malignancies. We aimed to investigate effects of population mixing in this older age group using an English national cancer dataset. Methods Cases of leukaemia, lymphoma and central nervous system (CNS) tumours amongst 15–24 year olds in England (diagnosed 1996–2005) were included in the study. Data were obtained by ward of diagnosis and linked to 1991 census variables including population mixing (Shannon index); data on person-weighted population density and deprivation (Townsend score) were also used and considered as explanatory variables. Associations between TYA cancer incidence and census variables were investigated using negative binomial regression, and results presented as incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results A total of 6251 cases of leukaemia (21%), lymphoma (49%) and CNS tumours (30%) were analysed. Higher levels of population mixing were associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of CNS tumours (IRR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.75-0.91), accounted for by astrocytomas and ‘other CNS tumours’; however, there was no association with leukaemia or lymphoma. Incidence of CNS tumours and lymphoma was 3% lower in more deprived areas (IRR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.96-0.99 and IRR = 0.97, 95% CI =0.96-0.98 respectively). Population density was not associated with the incidence of leukaemia, lymphoma or CNS tumours. Conclusions Our results suggest a possible role for environmental risk factors with population correlates in the aetiology of CNS tumours amongst TYAs. Unlike studies of childhood cancer, associations between population mixing and the incidence of leukaemia and lymphoma were not observed.BMC Cancer 09/2014; 14(1):698. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-14-698 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified that frequent polymorphisms in ARID5B and IKZF1, two genes involved in lymphoid differentiation, increase the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). These findings markedly modified the current field of research on the etiology of ALL. In this new context, the present exploratory study investigated the possible interactions between these at-risk alleles and the non-genetic suspected ALL risk factors that were of sufficient prevalence in the French ESCALE study: maternal use of home insecticides during pregnancy, preconception paternal smoking, and some proxies for early immune modulation, i.e. breastfeeding, history of common infections before age one year, and birth order. The analyses were based on 434 ALL cases and 442 controls of European origin, drawn from the nationwide population-based case-control study ESCALE. Information on non-genetic factors was obtained by standardized telephone interview. Interactions between rs10740055 in ARID5B or rs4132601 in IKZF1 and each of the suspected non-genetic factors were tested, with the SNPs coded as counts of minor alleles (trend variable). Statistical interactions were observed between rs4132601 and maternal insecticide use (p = 0.012), breastfeeding p = 0.017) and repeated early common infections (p = 0.0070), with allelic odds ratios (OR) which were only increased among the children not exposed to insecticides (OR = 1.8, 95%CI: 1.3, 2.4), those who had been breastfed (OR = 1.8, 95%CI: 1.3, 2.5) and those who had had repeated early common infections (OR = 2.4, 95%CI: 1.5, 3.8). The allelic ORs were close to one among children exposed to insecticides, who had not been breastfed and who had had no or few common infections. Repeated early common infections interacted with rs10740055 (p = 0.018) in the case-only design. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether these observations of a modification of the effect of the at-risk alleles by non-genetic factors are chance findings or reflect true underlying mechanisms.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(3):e0121348. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0121348 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (DS) is a common congenital anomaly, and children with DS have a substantially higher risk of leukemia. Although understanding of genetic and epigenetic changes of childhood leukemia has improved, the causes of childhood leukemia and the potential role of environmental exposures in leukemogenesis remain largely unknown. Although many epidemiologic studies have examined a variety of environmental exposures, ionizing radiation remains the only generally accepted environmental risk factor for childhood leukemia. Among suspected risk factors, infections, exposure to pesticides, and extremely low frequency magnetic fields are notable. While there are well-defined differences between leukemia in children with and without DS, studies of risk factors for leukemia among DS children are generally consistent with trends seen among non-DS (NDS) children. We provide background on DS epidemiology and review the similarities and differences in biological and epidemiologic features of leukemia in children with and without DS. We propose that both acute lymphoblastic and acute myeloblastic leukemia among DS children can serve as an informative model for development of childhood leukemia. Further, the high rates of leukemia among DS children make it possible to study this disease using a cohort approach, a powerful method that is unfeasible in the general population due to the rarity of childhood leukemia.Cancer Epidemiology 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2014.07.006 · 2.56 Impact Factor