Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Mother's Pre-Pregnancy Diet May Influence Child Cancer Risk

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Mother's Pre-Pregnancy Diet May Influence Child Cancer Risk

Article excerpt

Jensen CD, Block G, Buffler P, Ma X, Selvin S, Month S. 2004. Maternal dietary risk factors in childhood acute lymphoblastic Leukemia (United States). Cancer Causes Control 15(6):559-570.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer (with 2,400 cases diagnosed each year in those under age 20) and the second most common cause of mortality in children aged 1-14. Recent research has confirmed that ALL can originate in utero. New findings from the NIEHS-funded Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study (NCCLS) show that the disease may originate even earlier--in the foods a woman eats before she even becomes pregnant.

The effect of maternal diet on child leukemia risk has not been rigorously studied; the few studies that have been done have focused on specific dietary factors, and the results have been mixed. The NCCLS is a population-based case-control study of risk factors for child leukemia, including maternal diet. It is the first study to capture mothers' overall dietary patterns and relate them to child leukemia.

Researchers compared 138 mothers of children diagnosed with ALL with a control group of 138 mothers whose children did not have cancer. All the mothers completed a questionnaire pertaining to their diet in the 12 months prior to pregnancy. …

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