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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Feb;62(2):229-234. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25268. Epub 2014 Oct 4.

Vehicle refuelling, use of domestic wood heaters and the risk of childhood brain tumours: Results from an Australian case-control study.

Author information

1
Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
2
Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
3
School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
4
Hunter Medical Research Institute, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
5
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
6
Hunter Area Pathology Service, HNEHealth, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
7
School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
8
School of Women's and Children's Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
9
Research Portfolio, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
10
Children's Cancer Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
11
Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
12
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
13
Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
14
Sax Institute, Haymarket, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aetiology of childhood brain tumours (CBT) is largely unknown. Damage to germ cells after parental exposure to airborne carcinogens, such as volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is one plausible pathway. This analysis aimed to investigate whether parental refuelling of vehicles or the use of domestic wood heaters in key time periods relating to the child's birth was associated with an increased risk of CBT.

PROCEDURE:

Cases <15 years of age were recruited through 10 paediatric oncology centres around Australia; controls were recruited through nationwide random-digit dialling, frequency matched to cases on age, sex and State of residence. Exposure to refuelling and wood heaters was ascertained through questionnaires from both parents. Odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for relevant covariates.

RESULTS:

Data were available for 306 case and 950 control families. Paternal refuelling ≥4 times/month was associated with an increased risk of CBT (OR 1.59, 95% CI: 1.11, 2.29), and a dose-dependent trend was observed (P = 0.004). No association was seen for maternal refuelling. Use of closed, but not open, wood heaters before (OR 1.51, 95% CI: 1.05, 2.15) and after (OR 1.44, 95% CI: 1.03, 2.01) the child's birth was associated with increased risk of CBT, but dose-response relationships were weak or absent.

CONCLUSIONS:

Paternal refuelling of vehicles ≥4 times/month and the use of closed wood heaters before the child's birth may increase the risk of CBT. Replication in larger studies is needed. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:229-234. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

KEYWORDS:

case-control; child; fuel, hydrocarbons, neoplasms; wood smoke

PMID:
25283072
DOI:
10.1002/pbc.25268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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