Friday, May 7, 2010

Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy Linked To Rare Leukemia In Offspring

A new study suggest, women who are pregnant have one more reason to avoid drinking during their pregnancy, as it may raise the risk of a rare blood cancer in children, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

French scientists carrying out the research found, the risk of getting acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an often fatal blood cancer, increased 56 percent for children whose mothers drank alcohol while pregnant.

Paule Latino-Martel, research director at the University of Paris Unit of Research on Nutritional Epidemiology, and the study's author said, these findings reinforce doctor's warnings that it is important for pregnant women and women trying to conceive to refrain from drinking alcohol, in order to avoid foetal alcohol syndrome.

With the current findings strengthening this recommendation.

The study was published in the latest issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Despite, wide publication of the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy for years, far too many pregnant women continue to drink. Background information of this study informs, around 12 percent of pregnant women in the USA report alcohol consumption, as do 52 percent in France and 60 percent in Russia.

According to Julie Ross, Ph.D., director of the division of pediatric epidemiology and clinical research at the University of Minnesota, around 700 cases of acute myeloid leukaemia each year, though in the past decade there has been great improvement in the prognosis for recovery.

The five-year survival rate for children up to 14 years of age now 60 percent.

Researchers reviewed data from 21 studies for this research looking at the connection between alcohol consumption among pregnant women and two rare cancers: acute myeloid leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

They believe that the extreme vulnerability of the foetus during the early stages of development, does not eliminate other periods of the pregnancy from being immune to the risk, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

Changes occurring during the cellular level could lead to cancer down the line, the mistake is m the copies of cells made early in foetal development, with the mutation caused by environmental toxins, most likely alcohol or cigarettes.

Even moderate alcohol consumption is known to cause a variety of cancers in adults, but while the current study shows no causality only connectivity, the researchers agree pregnant women should not drink alcohol, as there is no known safe amount, nor safe period during pregnancy.

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