Breast-feeding Duration and Childhood Acute Leukemia and Lymphomas in a Sample of Turkish Children

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Whether breast-feeding is associated with decreased incidence of the lymphoid malignancies in children is uncertain. We evaluated childhood acute leukemia and lymphoma in relation to duration of breast-feeding.


We investigated this issue in a case-control study comprising 137 patients, aged 1 to 16 years, with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in addition to 146 controls matched for age and sex.


The median duration of breast-feeding among patients was shorter than that of controls (10 vs 12 months). Patients with ALL and AML had shorter mean breast-feeding duration compared with healthy children (P = 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). The shortest mean breast-feeding duration was noted in the children with AML.


Breast-feeding for a duration of 0 to 6 months, when compared with feeding of longer than 6 months, was associated with increased odds ratios (ORs) for ALL [OR = 2.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.17-5.10], AML (OR = 6.67, 95% CI = 1.32-33.69), Hodgkin lymphoma (OR = 3.33, 95% CI = 0.60-18.54), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (OR = 1.90, 95% CI = 0.68-5.34) and overall (OR = 2.54, 95% CI = 1.51-4.26).


Our findings suggest that breast-feeding of more than 6 months is protective against childhood lymphoid malignancies, especially for AML and ALL. JPGN 42:568-572, 2006.

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