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Study Shows A Possible Link Between The Pill And Childhood Leukemia

by | January 7, 2019

A Danish study of over one million children shows a possible link between oral contraceptives and childhood leukemia. The study revealed that the usage of the combination pill with estrogen and progesterone within six months before conception could be linked to leukemia.

Study Shows A Possible Link Between The Pill And Childhood Leukemia

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Study Shows A Possible Link Between The Pill And Childhood Leukemia

Study authors scanned the Danish birth registry of children born between the years of January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2014, and cross-referenced the names with the Danish Cancer Registry, enabling them to identify children with leukemia.

The study was followed for nine years and shows a possible twenty-five cases of childhood leukemia in children whose mothers took the combination birth control pill. The study showed that there was no risk of leukemia if birth control was stopped six months before conception.

The study authors have stated that the risk for childhood leukemia is very low and the safety of the pill is not a worry.

The study was published in the Lancet Oncology back in September and was led by Marie Hargreave, PhD. of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center. On the website, the study authors say that their findings suggest the maternal hormonal usage affects the development of non-lymphoid leukemia in children. And that since little to no risk factors were established for leukemia, the findings of the study suggest an important direction for future research into its causes and prevention.

While the study shows a link between hormonal birth control and childhood leukemia, it’s more of an association between the two and not necessarily causation, says Rita W. Driggers, MD. Driggers is an associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School in Washington, DC. Driggers also points out that there have been previous studies that have produced conflicting results. Driggers told the Medscape Medical News that, “Patients and providers will have to weigh the extremely low absolute increase in non-lymphoid leukemia risk to the risks and costs of unintended pregnancy.”

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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