Objective: To evaluate childhood cancer in relation to duration of breast-feeding.
Setting: Sweden. Records from Child Healthcare Centres were scrutinised regarding information on breast-feeding and other health-related items.
Subjects: All children aged 0–14 y with a malignant disease (benign brain tumours included) during the time period 1988–91 (n=962) were identified from the Swedish Cancer Register. An equal number of controls matched for sex and age were selected from the Swedish Birth Register.
Results: Information was obtained for 835 cases and 860 controls. Overall, duration of breast-feeding did not influence the risk for a malignant disease in this age group. However, breast-feeding ≥1 month increased the risk for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) yielding an odds ratio (OR) 5.5 with 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–25. Breast-feeding 1–<6 months gave OR 5.1, CI 1.1–24 and ≥6 months gave OR 7.0, CI 1.3–37 with a significant trend (P=0.04). Adjustment for maternal and birth-related co-variates gave similar results. For other malignancies no significant changes of the risk were obtained.
Conclusions: Overall, no association between duration of breast-feeding and childhood malignancies was found except for a significantly increased risk for NHL, but this was based on low numbers of cases and needs to be confirmed in other investigations.
Sponsorship: Supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Fund and Örebro County Council Research Committee.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2001) 55, 179–185
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Hardell, L., Dreifaldt, A. Breast-feeding duration and the risk of malignant diseases in childhood in Sweden. Eur J Clin Nutr 55, 179–185 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601142
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