Alcohol During Pregnancy a Risk Factor for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Children

Although relatively rare in children, the risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) could be increased by drinking alcohol during pregnancy, according to research published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Director of the division of pediatric epidemiology and clinical research at the University of Minnesota, Julie Ross, Ph.D., said there are about 700 cases of AML in the United States in children each year. She claims, “It’s quite rare, so we want to be careful about worrying parents too much.”

Ross and lead researcher of the study, Paule Latino-Martel, Ph.D. research director at the Research Center for Human Nutrition in France, agreed that these findings should strengthen the public health recommendation against alcohol consumption during pregnancy..

Ross, an editorial board member of the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and the lead researcher of this study, Paule Latino-Martel, Ph.D., research director at the Research Center for Human Nutrition in France, agreed that these findings should strengthen public health recommendation against the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

Latino-Martel said, “Despite the current recommendation that pregnant women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy, alcohol consumption during pregnancy is 12 in the United States, 30 percent in Sweden, 52 percent in France, 59 percent in Australia and 60 percent in Russia.”

Latino-Martel and his colleagues analyzed 21 case control studies. Appearing as a yes or no question, alcohol intake during pregnancy was associated with a 56 percent increased risk of AML in children. The risk of AML was higher in children aged 0 to 4 years old at diagnosis. There was no significant association with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.


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