Journal Article

Food Consumption by Children and the Risk of Childhood Acute Leukemia

Marilyn L. Kwan, Gladys Block, Steve Selvin, Stacy Month and Patricia A. Buffler

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 11, pages 1098-1107
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Food Consumption by Children and the Risk of Childhood Acute Leukemia

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The possible relation between child’s early diet and risk of childhood leukemia has remained largely unexplored. The authors’ objective was to determine what particular foods consumed early in life (first 2 years) are associated with risk of childhood leukemia in a 1995–2002 case-control study of a diverse California population. Dietary data were obtained from a questionnaire administered to the child’s caregiver. Conditional logistic regression was used to analyze 328 case-control sets matched on age, sex, Hispanic status, and maternal race. Regular consumption of oranges/bananas (odds ratio = 0.49, 95% confidence interval: 0.26, 0.94) and orange juice (odds ratio = 0.54, 95% confidence interval: 0.31, 0.94) during the first 2 years of life was associated with a reduction in risk of childhood leukemia diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 14 years. Restricting the analysis to leukemia diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 5 years reflected a similar pattern of reduced risk. No association between eating hot dogs/lunch meats and risk of leukemia was found. These results suggest that fruits or fruit juices that contain vitamin C and/or potassium may reduce the risk of childhood leukemia, especially if they are consumed on a regular basis during the first 2 years of life.

Keywords: ascorbic acid; case-control studies; child; diet; epidemiologic methods; leukemia; nutrition; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; NCCLS, Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study; OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  6845 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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