Case reports and epidemiological studies have suggested a relationship between congenital anomalies and childhood cancer, but some potential associations remain inconsistent. In this study, we investigated the association between congenital anomalies and neuroblastoma.
We used data of a case-control study on neuroblastoma conducted from 1992 to 1994, including 538 children aged 0–19 years with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed neuroblastoma and 504 controls identified by telephone random-digit dialing and matched to cases on date of birth. Information on congenital anomalies and potential confounding factors was collected through maternal telephone interviews using a structured questionnaire. We estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusted for reference age at diagnosis, mother's educational level, mother's race, and household income at birth.
An association between the maternal report of any congenital anomalies and neuroblastoma (OR = 2.58; CI = 1.57–4.25) was observed. Neuroblastoma risk increased with increasing number of anomalies per child (OR = 3.90, CI = 1.27–11.9 for two anomalies or more), and when we restricted analyses to major anomalies (OR = 7.53, CI = 2.23–25.5). Genitourinary anomalies (OR = 5.84, CI = 1.67–20.4) and cardiac anomalies (OR = 4.27, CI = 1.22–15.0) had an elevated, but imprecise neuroblastoma risk.
Our findings support the hypothesis of an association between neuroblastoma and congenital, especially urogenital and cardiac, anomalies. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.