Invited commentary: Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and allergies: Biology or bias?

Amy M. Linabery, Logan G. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous epidemiologic studies have shown an inverse association between a personal history of atopy/allergies, both overall and among asthma, eczema, and hay fever investigated separately, and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with some consistency; however, in most of these studies, exposure data were collected by maternal interview. Now, in a population-based and records-based study in this issue of the Journal (Am J Epidemiol. 2012;176(11):970978), Chang et al. report an increased risk for allergic conditions across different etiologic time periods, calling the former paradigm into doubt. A review of the basic biology literature shows that proposed mechanisms support either a positive or an inverse association. In light of this ambiguity, it is epidemiologys turn to determine the direction of association.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-983
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume176
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2012

Keywords

  • child
  • hypersensitivity
  • leukemia

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