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Pet ownership and childhood acute leukemia (USA and Canada)

By A. R. Swensen, J. A. Ross, X. O. Shu, G. H. Reaman, M. Steinbuch, L. L. Robison

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Objectives: For more than three decades there has been speculation regarding a possible role of zoonotic diseases in the development of human leukaemia. This study investigated the potential relationship between exposure to pets and the development of childhood leukaemia. Methods: Data from 2359 cases of acute leukaemia from two large case-control studies conducted in USA and Canada were analysed. Cases were individually matched to population controls on telephone exchange, age, and race. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) associated with pet ownership. Results: Overall, there was no association between pet ownership (either "any pet", dog, or cat) and childhood acute leukaemia (ORany pet:=1.01, 95% CI 0.89-1.2). Additionally, no relationship was found between exposure to an ill pet and childhood leukaemia. Conclusion: The results of this analysis suggest that pet ownership (healthy or sick) is unrelated to an increased risk of childhood leukaemia.

Date 2001
Publication Title Cancer Causes & Control
Volume 12
Issue 4
Pages 301-303
ISBN/ISSN 0957-5243
DOI 10.1023/A:1011276417369
Language English
Author Address Division of Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Blood
  2. Canada
  3. Cancer
  4. Children
  5. Commonwealth of Nations
  6. Developed countries
  7. Diseases
  8. Humans
  9. Leukemia
  10. Mammals
  11. North America
  12. OECD countries
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. Pets and companion animals
  15. Primates
  16. Risk Assessment
  17. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed