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Childhood Retinoblastoma Risk May Be Related to Fathers’ Job Exposures

CLIC investigators Drs. Julia Heck and Johnni Hansen, along with other cancer researchers, recently reported results from a study on parents’ occupations and the risk of retinoblastoma among their children. Data from several national registries in Denmark were used to identify retinoblastoma cases diagnosed between 1975-2014 in children under five years of age, as well as the parents’ job histories. Given that the sperm production cycle is about 90 days, the researchers examined the father’s occupation for the 90-day period prior to when the mother became pregnant. The researchers also examined the mother’s occupation from the beginning of her pregnancy until the child’s birth. The researchers found that if fathers worked in certain manufacturing or transportation-related industries during the critical window prior to conception, their children had a higher risk of retinoblastoma. The mother’s occupation was not significantly associated with retinoblastoma among children. The findings from this study suggest that some occupational exposures experienced by fathers shortly before conception may increase the risk of retinoblastoma among their children.

Title: Parental occupation and risk of childhood retinoblastoma in Denmark.

Authors: Omidakhsh N, Hansen J, Ritz B, Coleman AL, McKean-Cowdin R, Olsen J, Heck JE.

Published In: J Occup Environ Med. 2021 Mar;63(3):256-261. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002120. Epub: 2020 Dec 31. PMID: 33395168.