Exploration of genetic ancestry and socioeconomic status in the incidence of neuroblastoma: An ecological study

Eun Mi Jung, Rebecca A. Johnson, Aubrey K Hubbard, Logan G. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although global differences in the incidence of neuroblastoma have been examined, the underlying mechanism has yet to be elucidated. Previous studies have suggested genetic ancestry and human development index (HDI) as contributing factors, but few studies have been conducted at the international level. Here, we aimed to examine whether the frequency of common genomic variation associated with neuroblastoma can affect its risk at the ecological level with consideration of the HDI. Minor allele frequencies (MAFs) for 22 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were abstracted from the Geography of Genetic Variants Browser. The number of incident neuroblastomas for each population was obtained from the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents series. Further, population pseudo-polygenic risk scores (pp-PRSs) were calculated as a sum of MAFs at the population level, each of which was weighted by effect sizes from prior studies. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and the 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to examine whether differences in MAFs across the population influence the risk of neuroblastoma, with and without adjustment for HDI and whether pp-PRSs can be a predictor of the risk of neuroblastoma. Overall, our results indicated that the neuroblastoma risk associated with variation in SNP frequency could not be differentiated from that of HDI at the ecological level. Additionally, pp-PRSs were not significantly associated with the risk of neuroblastoma (IRR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.62–1.60). Further study using individual-level data is warranted to minimize the bias related to the use of population-level data in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29571
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Children's Cancer Research Fund (Minneapolis, MN) provided fellowship support for Eun Mi Jung's training.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • incidence
  • international
  • neuroblastoma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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