Maternal infection during pregnancy and risk for childhood leukaemia

  • He JR & al.
  • J Pediatr
  • 3 Dec 2019

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • 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.

Study design

  • 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.

Key results

  • 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).

Limitations

  • High heterogeneity among studies.
  • Small sample size.