Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Birth size and adult cancer risk

07.02.2005


Study shows larger babies have higher risk of certain cancers in adulthood

Babies who weighed more at birth had higher rates of digestive and lymphatic cancers in adulthood, according to a new study published February 7, 2005 in the online edition of the International Journal of Cancer, the official journal of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). The study, available online at Wiley InterScience, also found that women who weighed more at birth had significantly higher rates of breast cancer before age 50, though much lower rates of endometrial cancer at all ages.

Medical experts have proposed associations between birth size and rates of adult cancer. To examine this hypothesis, researcher Valerie A. McCormack and colleagues at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Universities of Uppsala and Stockholm investigated overall and site-specific cancer incidence in relation to birth characteristics in a Swedish population-based cohort.



The cohort included 11,166 babies born between 1915 and 1929 at Uppsala Academic Hospital in Sweden. At birth, detailed obstetric notes were taken on maternal age, gestational age, birth order, birth weight, placental weight, birth length and head circumference. Follow-up of the cohort was done through linkages to the Swedish Cancer Registry, national censuses and the Swedish Register of Deaths and Migration.

With 2685 people (24 percent) in the cohort diagnosed with cancer between 1960 and 2001, larger birth size was associated with an increased risk of certain adult cancers. A standard deviation increase in birth weight (which was 450g at 40 weeks gestation) was associated with a 17 percent increase in lymphatic cancers, and a 13 percent increase in digestive cancers, including stomach, colorectal and pancreatic, though no association was seen between higher birth weight and five other non reproductive-related cancer sites.

Reproductive-related cancers accounted for nearly half of all cancer in women and nearly a third of all cancer in men. For women, a strong association was found between breast cancer in women under age 50 and larger birth size. Women in the highest category of birth weight (4kg or greater) were four times as likely to get breast cancer before age 50, compared with women in the lowest category (less than 3 kg). On the other hand, women who were large at birth were only half as likely to get endometrial cancer compared to their smallest counterparts. For men, the most common reproductive-related cancer, of the prostate gland, was analyzed but no association to birth factors was found.

While the researchers note that some of their findings may have arisen by chance, it is plausible that the associations between birth weight and adult cancer are related to some aspects of the fetal environment or the number of cells at risk of carcinogenesis. "We have found some evidence supporting the hypothesis that larger birth size is associated with increased risk of certain adult cancers," the authors report. "However, our findings suggest that positive associations were not uniform across all cancer sites, but were particular to just a few sites. Furthermore, our findings generate the hypothesis, which merits further study, that rates of endometrial cancer are lower in women who had higher birth rates."

Since previous studies have found associations between smaller birth size and increased risks of adult heart disease and diabetes, the authors conclude, "Both circulatory disease and cancer need to be considered in determining the net effect of prenatal influences on adult morbidity and mortality."

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ijc
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single nanoparticle mapping paves the way for better nanotechnology

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A quantum spin liquid

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise

24.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>