Maternal Factors and Risk of Childhood Leukemia


Background: Although the cause in most cases of childhood leukemia is not known, the contribution ofenvironmental risk factors in the context of genetic predisposition has been reported with inconsistent results.The aim of this study was to examine association of childhood leukemia with maternal factors especially duringpregnancy, to help in avoiding risk factors. Materials and
Methods: This case-control study included childrenyounger than 18 years diagnosed with leukemia from 2008 to 2012. Controls were randomly selected andindividually matched to cases with respect to age, sex, and residency. All variables were compared between casesand control to determine any significant association with leukemia.
Results: Statistically significant associationsbetween risk of childhood leukemia with mother’s education (p=0.001), occupation (p=0.0005) and pesticidesexposure (p=0.005) during pregnancy were found. However, there were no significant links with maternal age(p=0.090), history of fetal loss (0.85), history of radiography during pregnancy (p=0.400), history of drug intake(p=0.689) and infection (p=0.696) during pregnancy.
Conclusions: The results showed increased risk of leukemiain children whose mothers were working in agriculture and were exposed to pesticides during pregnancy. Thefurther study needs to be investigated to know association of various maternal risk factors with leukemia whichremained unknown in this study.