A deficit of normal immune stimulation in early childhood is a suspected risk factor for both childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and allergies. The present study utilized a population-based case-control design using medical claims data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan to evaluate the association between allergy and childhood leukemia. Eight hundred forty-six childhood ALL patients who were newly diagnosed during 2000 to 2008 and were older than 1 but less than 10 years of age were individually matched with 3,374 controls based on sex, birth date, and time of diagnosis (reference date for the controls). Conditional logistic regression was performed to assess the association between childhood ALL and allergies. An increased risk of ALL was observed with having an allergy less than 1 year before the case's ALL diagnosis (odds ratio (OR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5, 2.0), more than 1 year before the case's diagnosis (OR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.5), and before the age of 1 year (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.7). These results suggest that the pathogenesis of childhood ALL and allergy share a common biologic mechanism.
"One factor that may have contributed to these differing results was the age of the studied population. Spector et al (2004) investigated children younger than 6 years old, and Chang et al (2012) included children between 1 and 10 years old; both of these study populations were younger than those of other studies. Another factor was the different definitions of skin manifestations of atopy. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Allergies have been described as protective factors against the development of childhood acute leukaemia (AL). Our objective was to investigate the associations between allergy history and the development of AL and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children with Down syndrome (DS).
A case–control study was performed in Mexico City. The cases (n=97) were diagnosed at nine public hospitals, and the controls (n=222) were recruited at institutions for children with DS. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated.
Asthma was positively associated with AL development (OR=4.18; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.47–11.87), whereas skin allergies were negatively associated (OR=0.42; 95% CI: 0.20–0.91).
Our findings suggest that allergies and AL in children with DS share biological and immune mechanisms. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting associations between allergies and AL in children with DS.
British Journal of Cancer 05/2013; 108(11). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2013.237 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute leukemia is the most common cancer in children but the causes of the disease in the majority of cases are not known. About 80% are precursor-B cell in origin (CD19+, CD10+), and this immunophenotype has increased in incidence over the past several decades in the Western world. Part of this increase may be due to the introduction of new chemical exposures into the child's environment including parental smoking, pesticides, traffic fumes, paint and household chemicals. However, much of the increase in leukemia rates is likely linked to altered patterns of infection during early childhood development, mirroring causal pathways responsible for a similarly increased incidence of other childhood-diagnosed immune-related illnesses including allergy, asthma, and type 1 diabetes. Factors linked to childhood leukemia that are likely surrogates for immune stimulation include exposure to childcare settings, parity status and birth order, vaccination history, and population mixing. In case-control studies, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is consistently inversely associated with greater exposure to infections, via daycare and later birth order. New evidence suggests also that children who contract leukemia may harbor a congenital defect in immune responder status, as indicated by lower levels of the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10 at birth in children who grow up to contract leukemia, as well as higher need for clinical care for infections within the first year of life despite having lower levels of exposure to infections. One manifestation of this phenomenon may be leukemia clusters which tend to appear as a leukemia "outbreak" among populations with low herd immunity to a new infection. Critical answers to the etiology of childhood leukemia will require incorporating new tools into traditional epidemiologic approaches - including the classification of leukemia at a molecular scale, better exposure assessments at all points in a child's life, a comprehensive understanding of genetic risk factors, and an appraisal of the interplay between infectious exposures and the status of immune response in individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous epidemiologic studies have shown an inverse association between a personal history of atopy/allergies, both overall and among asthma, eczema, and hay fever investigated separately, and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with some consistency; however, in most of these studies, exposure data were collected by maternal interview. Now, in a population-based and records-based study in this issue of the Journal (Am J Epidemiol. 2012;000(0):000-000), Chang et al. report an increased risk for allergic conditions across different etiologic time periods, calling the former paradigm into doubt. A review of the basic biology literature shows that proposed mechanisms support either a positive or an inverse association. In light of this ambiguity, it is epidemiology's turn to determine the direction of association.
American journal of epidemiology 11/2012; 176(11). DOI:10.1093/aje/kws265 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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