- This meta-analysis suggests that maternal infection (influenza, varicella and rubella) during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) or all childhood leukaemia.
Why this matters
- Accumulated epidemiologic evidence on the association between maternal infection and childhood leukaemia have shown inconsistent results.
- Meta-analysis included 20 studies that reported the association between ≥1 measure of maternal infection and ALL or all childhood leukaemias in the offspring.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Overall, most of the studies (>65%) showed that different types of infection were associated with an increased risk for ALL or childhood leukaemia.
- Among specific types of infection, maternal influenza was associated with an increased risk for ALL (OR, 3.64; 95% CI, 1.34-9.90; I2=54.7%).
- The risk for childhood leukaemia was increased with maternal:
- influenza (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.01-3.11; I2=64.4%),
- rubella (OR, 2.79; 95% CI, 1.16-6.71) and
- varicella (OR, 10.19; 95% CI, 1.98-52.39).
- High heterogeneity among studies.
- Small sample size.