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Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Feb 1;173(3):282-91. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq365. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Maternal dietary patterns during early pregnancy and the odds of childhood germ cell tumors: A Children's Oncology Group study.

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  • 1University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.


Maternal diet during pregnancy may be associated with cancer in offspring. Intake of individual foods, as well as dietary patterns, can be used when examining these relations. Here, the authors examined associations between maternal dietary intake patterns and pediatric germ cell tumors (GCTs) using principal components analysis and logistic regression. Mothers of 222 GCT cases aged less than 15 years who were diagnosed at a Children's Oncology Group institution between 1993 and 2001 and those of 336 frequency-matched controls completed a self-administered food frequency questionnaire of diet during early pregnancy. Four dietary patterns were identified: "Western," "fruits and vegetables," "protein," and "healthful." With adjustment for birth weight, parity, and vitamin use, the fruits and vegetables pattern was significantly associated with a lower odds for GCTs (odds ratio (OR) = 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.69, 0.99; 2 sided). Upon stratification, the fruits and vegetables pattern was significantly associated with a lower odds in males (OR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.47, 0.92) but not females (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.72, 1.14). A quantitative assessment of assumed nondifferential reporting error indicated no notable deviations from unadjusted odds ratio estimates. Results of this exploratory analysis suggest that maternal prenatal dietary patterns could be considered in future studies of GCTs in offspring.

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