No sex difference observed in the association between intra-uterine growth and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
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In their recent study of birth weight, miscarriage and childhood cancer, Dorak et al.  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 , 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...
KeywordsBirth Weight Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia High Birth Weight Maternal Height Birth Weight Category