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High parental occupational social contact and risk of childhood hematopoietic, brain and bone cancers.

  • Author(s): Omidakhsh, Negar
  • Hansen, Johnni
  • Ritz, Beate
  • Olsen, Jorn
  • Heck, Julia E
  • et al.

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The etiology of childhood cancer is largely unknown, though some research suggests an infectious origin of hematopoietic, central nervous system (CNS) and bone cancers.


We examined parental occupational social contact as a proxy for exposure to infectious agents and risk of childhood cancer. This population-based case-control study utilized a linkage of four Danish data-registries, and included 3581 cases (<17 years, diagnosed 1973-2012) and 358,100 age-matched controls. We examined the risks of leukemia, lymphoma, CNS and bone cancer related to high occupational social contact from (1) conception to birth and (2) birth to diagnosis.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and bone cancer were inversely associated with high maternal social contact from conception to birth (OR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.67-1.10) and birth to diagnosis (OR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.34-0.86). Children of fathers with high social contact from birth to diagnosis had an increased risk of bone cancers, particularly in rural areas (OR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.03-2.63). Parental social contact was associated with increased risk of astrocytoma, with strongest associations found in first-born children (maternal: OR: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.02-2.32; paternal: OR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.05-3.17).


Our results support the notion of a role of infections for some cancer types.

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