Association between leukaemia and X-ray in children: A nationwide study

Authors

  • Tian-Yu Shih,

    1. Department of Radiology, Cheng Ching Hospital at Chung Kang and Graduate Institute of Clinical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Jay Wu,

    1. Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Science, College of Health Care, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Chin-Shin Muo,

    1. Management Office for Health Data, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Chia-Hung Kao

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine PET Center, China Medical University Hospital and Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science and School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    • Correspondence: Dr Chia-Hung Kao, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science and School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, No. 2, Yuh-Der Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan. Fax: +886 4 22336174; email: d10040@mail.cmuh.org.tw

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  • Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
  • Jay Wu and Tian-Yu Shih contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Aim

The frequency of employing radiography is increasing. Long-term risks of performing X-ray procedures on children and adolescents for medical diagnosis have raised significant concerns.

Methods

In this study, we adopt the case-control methodology to evaluate the relationship between the incidence rate of acute leukaemia and exposure to radiation during diagnostic X-ray examinations for children. Based on 1998–2010 data obtained from the Taiwan Bureau of National Health Insurance database, we selected 58 children with leukaemia and randomly selected an additional 232 children as the control group.

Results

The mean age of children with leukaemia is 8.92 ± 5.24 years. The risk of leukaemia in children who underwent X-ray examinations increased 2.14-fold (95% CI, 1.18–3.87). In this study, we identified that, when undergoing X-ray examinations, the risk of leukaemia in children increased for both sex and age groups. Specifically, the relationship between leukaemia and X-ray in boys (OR = 3.28, 95%CI, 1.33–8.07) and in ages of 6 to 11 years (OR = 2.58, 95%CI, 1.09–6.10) was significant. Overall, the risk of leukaemia in children who underwent X-ray examinations progressively increased from a ratio of 1.65 to 3.14. Moreover, an identical trend was observed for boys (1.85 to 6.42).

Conclusion

Exposure to X-ray increased the risk of leukaemia in children.

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