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The risk of childhood brain tumors associated with delivery interventions: A Danish matched case-control study



Head trauma has been associated with increased brain tumor risk in adults. Instrument assisted delivery can be a cause of head trauma in newborns. The goal of this study was to determine if instrument-assisted deliveries influenced the odds of childhood brain tumors in Denmark.


We conducted a matched case-control study of childhood (<20 years) brain tumors in Denmark born between 1978 and 2013 and diagnosed 1978-2016. A total of 1678 brain tumor cases were identified and 25 controls were matched to each case based on the child's sex and birth date (N = 40,934). Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate effects (odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI)) for variables of interest.


Compared to children birthed by spontaneous vaginal delivery, children who later developed ependymomas (N = 118) had a greater likelihood of having experienced vacuum assisted deliveries (OR=1.74, 95% CI 1.02-2.96). Forceps use was low, and declined across the study period. We did not observe an overall increase in all CNS tumors (combined) with either vacuum delivery (OR=0.99, 95% CI 0.84-1.18) or forceps delivery (OR=1.26, 95% CI 0.78-2.03).


Our findings suggest an association between vacuum assisted deliveries and ependymomas.

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