Living on a farm, contact with farm animals and pets, and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: pooled and meta-analyses from the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium

Laurent Orsi, Corrado Magnani, Eleni T. Petridou, John D. Dockerty, Catherine Metayer, Elizabeth Milne, Helen D. Bailey, Nick Dessypris, Alice Y. Kang, Catharina Wesseling, Claire Infante-Rivard, Victor Wünsch-Filho, Ana M. Mora, Logan G. Spector, Jacqueline Clavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The associations between childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and several factors related to early stimulation of the immune system, that is, farm residence and regular contacts with farm animals (livestock, poultry) or pets in early childhood, were investigated using data from 13 case–control studies participating in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium. The sample included 7847 ALL cases and 11,667 controls aged 1–14 years. In all studies, the data were obtained from case and control parents using standardized questionnaires. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age, sex, study, maternal education, and maternal age. Contact with livestock in the first year of life was inversely associated with ALL (OR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.50, 0.85). Inverse associations were also observed for contact with dogs (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.86, 0.99) and cats (OR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.80, 0.94) in the first year of life. There was no evidence of a significant association with farm residence in the first year of life. The findings of these large pooled and meta-analyses add additional evidence to the hypothesis that regular contact with animals in early childhood is inversely associated with childhood ALL occurrence which is consistent with Greaves’ delayed infection hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2665-2681
Number of pages17
JournalCancer Medicine
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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