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Cancer. 1992 May 15;69(10):2541-7.

Medical risk factors and the development of brain tumors.

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Division of Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.


Several diseases and medical treatments are discussed as risk factors for the development of brain tumors. A population-based case-control study in the Rhein-Neckar-Odenwald area (containing 1.3 million inhabitants) of Germany was established to investigate this question. A total of 226 patients (cases) with primary brain tumors (International Classification of Diseases, ninth edition, classes 191, 191.1, and 192.0) and 418 control subjects (controls) were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire over a period of 2 years. No association was seen for head injuries, hereditary diseases, family history, and radiographic examination of the head and teeth. However, more cases than controls had had meningitis (relative risk [RR], 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 8.6) or epilepsy (RR, 2.6; 95% CI, 0.6 to 11.7). The RR was decreased for those who had allergic diseases (RR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5 to 1.0), diabetes (RR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.3 to 1.8), and infections and colds (RR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1 to 0.8).

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