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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


MARTINEZ, Monserrat et al. Environmental and perinatal risk factors in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, from a hospital population. Case-control study. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2022, vol.49, n.2, pp.67-76. ISSN 1683-9803.


The role of environmental and genetic risk factors has been studied in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but other factors, such as perinatal and parental factors, less so. The objective of the study was to analyze the environmental, parental and perinatal risk factors of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) being treated in the oncology department of a pediatric hospital.

Materials and methods:

This was a case-control study, carried out in the oncohematology department of a pediatric hospital. The cases were children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the controls were previously healthy children diagnosed with a surgical pathology, matched by age. Environmental, perinatal and parental variables were studied. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed in SPSS and the results were expressed as OR with 95% CI. The protocol was approved by the institutional ethics committee.


We included 66 cases and 132 controls. 33.3% (22/66) vs. 8.3% (11/132) OR 5.5 (95% CI 2.4 - 12.5 p=0.0001) of the cases and controls, respectively, had been residents since birth of the departments with larger farmland crop areas. In the multivariate analysis, the risk of being from departments with extensive crop areas was 3.6 times higher, OR 3.6 (95% CI 1.4 -9, p=0.008) adjusted for maternal age, history of neonatal hospitalizations, paternal occupation, and exposure to X-rays. Conclusions: Residence in areas with a large area of crops was the environmental risk factor in children with ALL in a hospital population.

Keywords : Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; children; risk factors; environmental contaminants.

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