Daycare lowers leukemia risk by 30%

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Daycare lowers leukemia risk by 30%
Wed, 04-30-2008 - 11:15pm

Someone on another board posted this. Does anyone have thoughts on it? Thirty percent is quite a significant difference!

Renaissance Siggy



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Wed, 05-07-2008 - 11:43am

"In fact, the term "play group" is extremely broad and could mean anything from three or four children interacting on a weekly basis in the church nursery, to a one hour interactive music class with 15 children and their parents, to a visit to the McDonalds play area (and exposure to all the snotty noses that entails)."

One of the original studies on the subject found a dose response effect: i.e. the greater the contact with other children, the lower the risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia:

Increasing levels of social activity were associated with consistent reductions in risk of ALL; a dose-response trend was seen. When children whose mothers reported no regular activity outside the family were used as the reference group, odds ratios for increasing levels of activity were 0.73 (95% confidence interval 0.62 to 0.87) for any social activity, 0.62 (0.51 to 0.75) for regular day care outside the home, and 0.48 (0.37 to 0.62) for formal day care (attendance at facility with at least four children at least twice a week) (P value for trend < 0.001). Although not as striking, results for non-ALL malignancies showed a similar pattern (P value for trend < 0.001). When children with non-ALL malignancies were taken as the reference group, a significant protective effect for ALL was seen only for formal day care (odds ratio = 0.69, 0.51 to 0.93; P = 0.02). Similar results were obtained for B cell precursor common ALL and other subgroups, as well as for cases diagnosed above and below age 5 years."

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2005
Thu, 05-08-2008 - 8:05am

Considering (1) they're defining "formal day care" as exposure to four other children twice a week and (2) from what I can gather from the numbers, I certainly wouldn't rush to place my infant in daycare based on this study. But it's a nice balance to studies showing that daycare increases risk of SIDS, accute respiratory infection, infection disease, etc. And I plan to send it to my germaphobic sister so she won't feel guilty every time her baby gets a cold from being around other kids. :)

Avatar for mkatherine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-08-2008 - 8:08am

I remember when liza was an infant and she was sick that whole first year with colds and ear infections and one night I was just in tears on the phone with ask a nurse and as I sobbed " daycare....right?" on the phone the nurse said "oh honey please...either she gets it now or she gets in it in kindergarten but she's gonna get it..."


Yes. We. Did.