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Maternal alcohol intake during pregnancy linked to childhood acute myeloid leukemia

-- Monica Smith

Thursday, May 6, 2010 (Last Updated: 05/07/2010)

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- In utero exposure to alcohol is associated with a significantly increased risk of childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is relatively rare, according to research published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Paule Latino-Martel, Ph.D., of the Université Paris, and colleagues conducted an analysis of 21 case-control studies, noting the type of leukemia, the children's age at diagnosis, the type of alcohol the mothers drank and during which trimester of pregnancy they drank.

The researchers found a statistically significant association between childhood AML and the mother's consumption of alcohol during pregnancy (an increase in risk of 56 percent); the risk was highest in children 0 to 4 years of age at time of diagnosis. However, they found no significant association between a mother's drinking during pregnancy and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"Binge-drinking before pregnancy has been found to be a strong predictor of both drinking and binge-drinking during pregnancy. In addition to actions directed to pregnant women, acting before pregnancy to reduce alcohol drinking might contribute to reduce the occurrence of harmful effects including AML in young children," the authors write.

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Specialties OBGYN & Women's Health
Hematology & Oncology
Family Practice

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