Maternal exposure to pesticides and risk of childhood lymphoma in France: A pooled analysis of the ESCALE and ESTELLE studies (SFCE)


Cancer Epidemiol. 2020 Aug 31;68:101797. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2020.101797. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Few studies have assessed the relation between maternal prenatal pesticides use and childhood lymphoma risk, some reporting a positive association with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We investigated the association between maternal exposure to pesticides during pregnancy and childhood Hodgkin (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

METHODS: We pooled data from the two French national population-based case-control studies ESCALE (2003-2004) and ESTELLE (2010-2011). Data on domestic and occupational exposures to pesticides during pregnancy were obtained through standardised maternal interviews. Logistic regression models were used to compute odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for HL and NHL, by pesticide category adjusted for potential confounders. Analyses by histological subtypes were also performed.

RESULTS: We included 328 H L, 305 non-Hodgkin NHL and 2,415 controls. Around 40% of control mothers reported having used pesticides during index pregnancy, of whom 95% reported insecticides use. Maternal use of herbicides and fungicides occurred mostly in combination with insecticides. Insecticides use was more frequently reported in cases than controls (ORNHL = 1.6 [95%CI 1.3-2.1], p = 0.0001; ORHL = 1.3 [95%CI 1.0-1.7], p = 0.03). This association appeared more marked for Burkitt lymphoma and mixed cellularity classical HL. No obvious association was observed with occupational pesticides exposure during pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that maternal domestic use of insecticides during pregnancy might be related to both childhood NHL and HL. Further larger studies are urgently needed.