To examine the relationship between birth characteristics and childhood cancer mortality, a retrospective cohort study of Korean children was conducted using data collected by the national birth register between 1995 and 2006, which were then individually linked to death data. A cohort of 6,479,406 children was followed from birth until their death or until December 31, 2006. Poisson regression analyses were used to calculate rate ratios of childhood cancer deaths according to birth characteristics. A total of 1,469 cancer deaths were noted and the childhood cancer mortality rate was found to be 3.43 per 100,000 person-years in Korea during the period of 1995-2006. The birth characteristics examined in this study (i.e., birth weight, gestational age, multiple births, parental ages, and number of siblings) were generally found to be not significantly associated with childhood cancer mortality, and the associations did not vary meaningfully with gender nor with cancer sites. However, among children aged 5-11 yr, higher birth weight was associated with elevated childhood cancer mortality (rate ratio = 1.28, 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.58). Our results offer no overall associations between childhood cancer mortality and birth characteristics, but suggest that the association may be specific to age group.
- Birth weight
- Cohort studies