LOS ANGELES — Radiologic technicians who work during pregnancy have twice the risk of having a child who develops lymphoma than those who do not work during pregnancy, according to a poster presentation by Kimberly J. Johnson, at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
On the other hand, working as a radiologic technician during pregnancy did not significantly increase the risk of leukemia or solid tumors among the offspring, Ms. Johnson of the department of pediatrics, division of epidemiology/clinical research, at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and her colleagues wrote.
The study used 63 years' worth of self-reported data involving 81,354 offspring of 38,239 female members of the U.S. Radiologic Technologists cohort. During that time, 230 of their offspring developed leukemia, lymphoma, or solid tumors before the age of 19.
A radiologic technician was considered to have worked during pregnancy if she reported having worked during the child's birth year as well as the prior year.
After adjusting for maternal age and birth year in a multivariate analysis, the investigators found no significant changes in the hazard ratio for leukemia or for solid tumors, but the hazard ratio for lymphoma was 1.99.
To account for occupational radiation exposures that differed by a work era, the investigators separated the data for children born between 1921 and 1959 from those born between 1960 and 1984. The investigators noted a significant increase in the risk of lymphoma only for those children born during the later era.
The investigators are trying to determine whether there is a significant relationship between the estimated dose of radiation received during pregnancy and cancers among the offspring.
The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute, the University of Minnesota, and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.