Paternal factors in incidence of childhood leukemia - Tips from Other Journals

Date: Oct, 1993

An increased incidence of childhood leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been suspected in locations close to nuclear reactors. One possible explanation is that the disease is more likely to occur in children of men exposed to high dosages of radiation. To investigate this theory, Kinlen and colleagues studied children born in Scotland since the nuclear industry was started in 1958.

Children with a diagnosis of leukemia or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were identified from the national cancer registration, and death certificate information was used to identify cases that could have been missed by the registration system. Overall, the study included 1,024 cases of leukemia and 237 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosed in persons younger than 25 years of age. Birth certificate information was used to identify the fathers of the study subjects and to generate up to three control subjects for each case.

Data on workers in the nuclear industry were obtained from a national registry of workers exposed to radiation and employment records from both military and civilian nuclear sites. The files of names and birth dates of fathers of both study subjects and control subjects were then matched with data on nuclear workers. All possible matches were investigated in great detail. If verified, exposure to radiation was calculated both for total lifetime and for the three months before conception of the case or control child.

High lifetime preconception radiation levels were found in the fathers of three control subjects but in none of the fathers of study subjects. In the three months before conception, high levels of radiation exposure were found in the fathers of one study subject and two control subjects. Overall, extensive analysis of the data did not show a significant excess of leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in any sub-group. In addition, no trends were found that indicated any association.

The authors conclude that this and other investigations demonstrate no relationship between paternal radiation exposure before conception and the development of childhood leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

COPYRIGHT 1993 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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