Last Update 21:52
Monday, 26 August 2019

Kids' leukemia risk tied to dads' smoking

Children whose fathers smoke have at least a 15 per cent higher risk of developing the most common form of childhood cancer

Reuters, Thursday 15 Dec 2011
Views: 753
Views: 753

"Paternal smoking seems to be real" as a risk factor, said Patricia Buffler, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the current analysis.

The research team, led by Dr. Elizabeth Milne at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Australia, surveyed the families of nearly 400 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Although ALL is the most common childhood cancer, it is still rare, affecting about three to five children out of every 100,000, according to the National Cancer Institute. More than 1,000 kids die of the disease every year.

The survey asked about the smoking habits of both parents.

Milne and her colleagues compared these families to the families of more than 800 children of similar ages who did not have leukemia.

They found that the mothers' smoking behaviour had no impact on the kids' risk of developing the cancer.

But kids whose fathers smoked at all around the time of their conception were 15 per cent more likely to develop leukemia. Those whose dads smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day around that time were 44 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with the cancer.

A 15 per cent increase in the risk of ALL would increase the number of cases from six out of every 200,000 children to seven out of every 200,000.

Of the nine earlier reports that the researchers used in their comparison with the current study, six of them also found an increased risk.

The findings make sense, Buffler said. "Tobacco smoke is full of toxins," including carcinogens, she said, "so it's not unlikely that you'd have damage" in the cells that produce sperm.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.