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Irish Child Health Database - Peer Reviewed Papers

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  • Association of early life factors and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in childhood: historical cohort study

    Published in:

    Br J Cancer, Vol: 86, Page: 356-61

    Publication Date:

    February 2002

    Aims & Objectives:

    The aim of this study was to examine the associations between early life factors and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia


    In a historical cohort study of all singleton live births in Northern Ireland from 1971-86 (n=434,933) associations between early life factors and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia were investigated. Multivariable analyses showed a positive association between high paternal age (> or =35 years) and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (relative risk=1.49; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.96--2.31) but no association with maternal age. High birth weight (> or =3500 g) was positively associated with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (relative risk=1.66; 95% CI=1.18--2.33). Children of mothers with a previous miscarriage or increased gestation (> or =40 weeks) had reduced risks of ALL (respective relative risks=0.49; 95% CI=0.29--0.80, and 0.67; 95% CI=0.48--0.94). Children born into more crowded households (> or =1 person per room) had substantially lower risks than children born into less crowded homes with also some evidence of a lower risk for children born into homes with three adults (relative risks=0.56; 95% CI=0.35-0.91 and 0.58; 95% CI=0.21-1.61 respectively). These findings indicate that several early life factors, including living conditions in childhood and maternal miscarriage history, influence risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in childhood.


    L. Murray; P. McCarron; K. Bailie; R. Middleton; G. Davey Smith; S. Dempsey; A. McCarthy; A. Gavin

    Study Type:

    Study Papers » Cohort Study » Analytical Studies


    lymphoblastic leukaemia (acute)

    International Classification:

    Neoplasms-lymphoblastic leukaemia



    Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland)