MONDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children with birth defects and offspring of mothers with multiple pregnancy losses after 20 weeks of gestation have an increased risk of developing childhood central nervous system (CNS) tumors , according to a study published online Aug. 8 in Pediatrics.
Sonia Partap, M.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues investigated whether birth anomalies and mothers' history of previous pregnancy losses, as a proxy for genetic defects, increased the risk for childhood CNS tumors. Using the California Cancer Registry, data were collected from 3,733 patients linked to a California birth certificate (aged between 0 and 14 years), who were diagnosed with a CNS tumor between 1988 and 2006. Each patient was matched with four controls. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for history of pregnancy losses and presence of a birth defect, after adjusting for race, Hispanic ethnicity, maternal age, birth weight, and birth order.
The investigators found a three-fold increased risk of CNS tumors (OR, 3.13), and a 14-fold increased risk for high-grade glioma (OR, 14.28) among offspring from mothers who had two or more fetal losses after 20 weeks' gestation. The risk of CNS cancers, including medulloblastoma (OR, 1.70), primitive neuroectodermal tumor (OR, 3.64), and germ cell tumors (OR, 6.40) increased with the presence of birth defects.
"Multiple pregnancy losses after 20 weeks' gestation and birth defects increase the risk of a childhood CNS tumor," the author writes.