MINNEAPOLIS, May 11 (UPI) — Drinking alcohol during pregnancy could increase the risk of acute myeloid leukemia, French researchers found.
Julie Ross of the University of Minnesota — who was not involved in the study but is an editorial board member of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the journal in which the findings were published — said acute myeloid leukemia is rare and there are about 700 cases each year in the United States.
“It’s quite rare, so we want to be careful about worrying parents too much,” Ross said in a statement.
Lead researcher Paule Latino-Martel, director at the Research Center for Human Nutrition in France, and colleagues analyzed 21 case studies of acute myeloid leukemia. Alcohol intake during pregnancy was associated with a 56 percent increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia in children. The risk of acute myeloid leukemia was higher in children ages 0-4, but was no significant association with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Ross and Latino-Martel said the findings should strengthen the public health recommendation against alcohol consumption in pregnant women.
“Despite the current recommendation that pregnant women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy, alcohol consumption during pregnancy is 12 percent in the United States, 30 percent in Sweden, 52 percent in France, 59 percent in Australia and 60 percent in Russia,” Latino-Martel said in a statement.
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