Abstract

In our study, we aimed to evaluate environmental and socio-economic conditions in children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and to point at possible etiologic factors that can affect leukemia risk. The parents of 105 children diagnosed and treated as ALL between the years 1997 –2007 in our clinic of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology were questioned in terms of environmental and socio-economical factors and results were compared with control group that consisted of 102 healthy children with similar age and gender. Educational level and monthly income were similar between the groups. Occupational exposure of fathers to dust and chemicals were significantly higher in leukemia group (OR:2.00; %95 CI=1.41–3.50, p:0.015). Living near transformer stations (OR: 4.08; %95 CI= 1.3–12.76, p: 0.034) and high-voltage power lines (OR: 2.43; %95 CI= 1.05–5.63, p:0.01) is found to be associated with increased risk of leukemia in children. There was no significant difference in terms of living near base stations (p>0.05). Exposure to industrial air pollution was significantly higher in leukemia group and was related to an elevated risk of ALL (OR: 26.77; %95 CI= 3.53–202.80, p:0.001). There was no significant difference in terms of exposure to insecticides and pesticides between the groups (p:>0.05). In conclusion, leukemia is a disease with multi-factorial etiology that occurs as a result of interactions of genes and environment. The list of possible chemical, physical and biologic agents suspected to play a role in its etiology increase with developing technology and environmental pollution. However there are no sufficient data and more extended studies have to be carried out.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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