Infectious exposure in the first year of life and risk of central nervous system tumors in children: Analysis of day care, social contact, and overcrowding

N. J. Harding, J. M. Birch, S. J. Hepworth, P. A. McKinney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Little is known regarding the aetiology of central nervous system tumors in children. Recent studies have speculated on a potential infectious aetiology, but no clear associations have been found. This article uses parent reported questionnaire data from the UK Childhood Cancer Study (UKCCS), a population-based case-control study, to examine the relationship between the infectious exposure in the first year of life and the likelihood of developing a CNS tumor. The variables representing infectious exposure were social contact (including social contact with other infants and attendance at informal and formal day care), sharing a bedroom with another child, birth order, and exposure to a school-age child within the home. Children reported to have had no social contact with other infants in the first year of life displayed an increased risk of developing a CNS tumor when compared to those who had (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.08-1.75). This effect was most prominent in the primitive neuroectodermal tumor/medulloblastoma subgroup (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.12-2.83). Those who had attended informal (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.68-1.09) or formal day care (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.68-1.26) showed slightly non-statistically significant reduced risks when compared to those reporting social contact only. No association with any of the other variables was observed. Overall, the inconsistent findings by variable and tumor subtype suggest that an early exposure to infections is not strongly implicated in the aetiology of CNS tumors. However, the effect for social contact outside the home, particularly for PNET/medulloblastomas warrants further investigation. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-136
    Number of pages7
    JournalCancer Causes & Control
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

    Keywords

    • Brain tumors
    • Childhood cancer
    • Childhood neoplasms
    • CNS tumors
    • Infectious exposure
    • Social contact
    • UKCCS

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Infectious exposure in the first year of life and risk of central nervous system tumors in children: Analysis of day care, social contact, and overcrowding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this