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Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 1227–1228 | Cite as

No sex difference observed in the association between intra-uterine growth and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

  • Elizabeth Milne
  • Crystal L. Laurvick
  • Eve Blair
  • Carol Bower
  • Nicholas de Klerk
Letter to the Editor

In their recent study of birth weight, miscarriage and childhood cancer, Dorak et al. [1] reported a non-linear trend across quintiles of unadjusted birth weight in boys (P = 0.008) in relation to risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), which was not observed in girls. The association was reported to be stronger among children younger than 5 years.

As birth weight is a function of both intra-uterine growth and length of gestation, it is not possible to differentiate an association between risk of ALL and high birth weight per se and an association with accelerated intra-uterine growth, without at least accounting for gestational age. In our recently published paper [2], describing the findings of our population-based, record linkage study from Western Australia, we reported an increased risk of childhood ALL associated with higher than expected foetal growth. Our primary explanatory variable was ‘proportion of optimal birth weight’ (POBW) whose calculation is described in detail...

Keywords

Birth Weight Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia High Birth Weight Maternal Height Birth Weight Category 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    Dorak MT, Pearce MS, Hammal DM, McNally RJ, Parker L (2007) Examination of gender effect in birth weight and miscarriage associations with childhood cancer (United Kingdom). Cancer Causes Control 18:219–228PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Milne E, Laurvick CL, Blair E, Bower C, de Klerk N (2007) Fetal growth and acute childhood leukemia: looking beyond birth weight. Am J Epidemiol 166:151–159PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blair E, Liu X, de Klerk N, Laurence D (2005) Optimal fetal growth for the Caucasian singleton and assessment of appropriateness of fetal growth: an analysis of a total population perinatal database. BMC Paediatr 5:13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wilcox M, Gardosi J, Mongelli M, Ray C, Johnson I (1993) Birth weight from pregnancies dated by ultrasonography in a multicultural British population. BMJ 307:588–591PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Milne
    • 1
  • Crystal L. Laurvick
    • 1
  • Eve Blair
    • 1
  • Carol Bower
    • 1
  • Nicholas de Klerk
    • 1
  1. 1.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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