Incidence of Childhood Leukemia in Iraq, 2000-2019

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Statistics and Informatics, College of Computer Science & Mathematics, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq.


Background: Leukemia is a major concern for children worldwide. Around 30% of malignancies in children (ages 0–14) are caused by leukemia. Objective: This study aims to explore the time trends in the incidence of childhood leukemia (aged 0-14 years) in Iraq between 2000 and 2019. Methods: Poisson regression with a log link function was used to analyze the long-term trends of incidence related to childhood leukemia cancer based on published data from the Iraqi cancer registry between 2000 and 2019. Annual estimates of the population, by 5-year age groups and by gender obtained from the United Nations, population Division. Results: A total of 8,570 cases of leukemia children in Iraq between 2000 and 2019 were recorded, the boys to girl ratio were 1.32 to 1. The most diagnosed type of leukemia was Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, accounting for about 33.56%, followed by Leukemia Not specify (NOS) (17.3%) with a relatively equal proportion of stated instances between boys and girls in these subsets. The age-standardized incidence rates, aged 0-14 years, from 2000-2019 were 3.45/100,000 for both genders. The Joinpoint regression ASRs analysis of childhood leukemia from 2000-2019 among 0 –14 age group for both genders indicate that there was an overall significant increasing trend at 1.23% per year, while no one joinpoint was identified during the entire study period. Among boys, there was an overall insignificant increasing trend at 0.77% per year. Among girls, there was an overall significant increasing trend at 1.93% per year, while one joinpoint was identified during the entire study period.  Conclusions: The overall (both genders) incidence rate of childhood leukemia has been increasing significantly in Iraq. The test for trends was insignificant among boys, while it was significant among girls. The increasing trend of leukemia requires further epidemiological studies to describe incidence by geography in Iraq.


Main Subjects