Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 1615–1625 | Cite as

Paternal intake of folate and vitamins B6 and B12 before conception and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

  • Helen D. Bailey
  • Margaret Miller
  • Kathryn R. Greenop
  • Carol Bower
  • John Attia
  • Glenn M. Marshall
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
  • Elizabeth Milne
Original paper

Abstract

Purpose

We investigated whether paternal dietary intake of folate before conception is associated with the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in a nationwide case–control study.

Methods

Data on dietary folate intake during the 6 months before the child’s conception were collected from 285 case fathers and 595 control fathers using a dietary questionnaire. Nutrient intake was quantified using a customized computer software package based on Australian food composition databases. Data on folate intake were analyzed using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for study-matching variables, total energy, and potentially confounding variables. In a subset of 229 cases and 420 controls, data on vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 intake were also analyzed.

Results

No consistent associations were seen with paternal dietary intake of folate or vitamin B6. Higher levels of paternal dietary vitamin B12 were appeared to be associated with an increased risk of childhood ALL, with those in the highest tertile of consumption having an OR of 1.51 (0.97, 2.36). The use of supplements containing folate and vitamins B6 or B12 was rare.

Conclusions

We did not find any biologically plausible evidence that paternal nutrition in the period leading up to conception was associated with childhood ALL. Our finding for vitamin B12 may be a chance finding, given the number of analyses performed, or be attributable to participation bias because parents with a tertiary education had the lowest level of B12 intake and tertiary education was more common among control than case parents.

Keywords

Epidemiology Child Leukemia Folate Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 

Abbreviations

ALL

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Aus-ALL

Australian Study of Causes of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in Children

CI

Confidence interval

DFE

Dietary folate equivalents

FFQ

Food frequency questionnaire

OR

Odds ratio

RDD

Random digit dialling

Supplementary material

10552_2014_466_MOESM1_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 32 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen D. Bailey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margaret Miller
    • 3
  • Kathryn R. Greenop
    • 2
  • Carol Bower
    • 2
  • John Attia
    • 4
    • 5
  • Glenn M. Marshall
    • 6
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
    • 7
    • 8
  • Elizabeth Milne
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Environment and RadiationInternational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)Lyon Cedex 08France
  2. 2.Telethon Kids InstituteThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Child Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Exercise and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of Health, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  5. 5.Hunter Medical Research InstituteJohn Hunter HospitalNew LambtonAustralia
  6. 6.Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Children’s Cancer Institute Australia for Medical ResearchUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Sydney School of Public HealthUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  8. 8.Sax InstituteUltimoAustralia

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