The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 85, Issue 9, pp 785–787 | Cite as

Seasonality in Pediatric Cancer

  • Rubayed Nurullah
  • Stefan Kuhle
  • Bryan Maguire
  • Ketan KulkarniEmail author
Clinical Brief


Although seasonal trends in incidence and diagnosis of pediatric cancers have been widely investigated, the results have been inconclusive. A consistent seasonal trend may possibly provide etiological insights into pediatric cancers. This study aims to determine if there is a seasonal variation in cancer diagnoses in the pediatric population at the IWK Health Centre, a tertiary care center serving three Canadian provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. All pediatric cancer patients aged 0–20 y diagnosed from 1995 to 2015 at the center were included in this study. The annual data was divided into four seasonal periods (December to February, March to May, June to August, and September to November). The cancer diagnoses were categorized as leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma, brain tumors, and miscellaneous. Seasonal variation was assessed by a harmonic function in a Poisson regression model. The amplitude of multiplicative change in the incidence rate caused by the seasonal variation is expressed as the incidence rate ratio (IRR). For all cancer diagnoses for the entire cohort of 1200 patients, the IRR was 1.03 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96–1.13]. None of the IRRs for the cancer groups indicated a statistically significant seasonality of cancer diagnosis: Leukemia 1.11 (95% CI 0.96–1.28); Lymphoma 1.17 (95% CI 0.93–1.47); Sarcoma 1.29 (95% CI 0.99–1.69); Brain tumors 1.16 (95% CI 0.97–1.38); Miscellaneous 1.09 (95% CI 0.93–1.27). The present study did not show a seasonal variation in the various cancer types in the pediatric population at the IWK.


Seasonality Childhood cancer Pediatric oncology Population based 



RN: Data analysis, interpretation, manuscript writing, literature review; SK and BM: Data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing, concept. KK: Concept, data analysis, manuscript writing, guarantor of the data.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Source of Funding



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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hematology Oncology, Department of PediatricsIWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics & GynaecologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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