Main Article Content
Background The incidence of childhood leukemia has increased
annually. Recent studies have shown that childhood leukemia is
initiated in utero, and have focused on prenatal risk factors such
as birth weight and parental age. Exposure to pesticides and
radiation, as well as parental smoking, breastfeeding, and the
number of older siblings have also been sugges ted as risk factors
for childhood leukemia.
Objective To evaluate possible risk factors for childhood leukemia,
including birth weight, parental age, and other risk factors.
Methods This case-con trol study was conducted from October
2011 to February 2012 in Haji Adam Malik Hospital, Medan .
Case subjects were children aged below 18 years and diagnosed
with leukemia. Control subjects were children aged below 18
years who were diagnosed with any non-cancerous acute illnesses
in this hospital, and individually matched for age and gen der to
the case subject group. Patients and parents were asked to fill a
structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using conditional
logistic regression .
Results A total of 140 subjects were eligible, with 70 subjects in
each group. Birth weight 2: 4000 g and maternal age 2:35 years
were significant risk factors with OR 10.13 (95%CI 1.124 to 91.2 7)
and OR 4.98 (95%CI 1.276 to 19.445), respectively. Paternal age
of 2:35 years was not a significant risk factor. Exposure to pesticides
was also noted as another significant risk factor (OR= 6.66; 95%CI
2.021 to 21.966) .
Conclusion High birth weight, advan ced maternal age, and
exposure to pesticides are risk factors of childhood leukemia.
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