BACKGROUND: The aetiology for most solid tumours in childhood is largely unknown. The lack of evidence concerns also the relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) and risk of childhood solid tumours other than in the central nervous system (CNS). We sought to access the association between individual and neighbourhood SEP measures and risk of childhood non-CNS solid tumours in Denmark and to evaluate whether associations varied by measure of SEP, time point of SEP assessment (during pregnancy versus before diagnosis) and tumour type.
METHODS: We conducted a nationwide case-control study based on Danish registry data. We identified all children born in 1980-2013 and diagnosed with a non-CNS solid tumour at ages 0-19 years (N = 1961) from the Danish Cancer Registry and sampled four individually matched controls per case using the Population Registry. We fitted conditional logistic regression models to estimate associations with register-based individual-level and neighbourhood-level SEP measures.
RESULTS: We observed a tendency of increased odd ratios (OR) in association with medium and high maternal income for most tumour types (e.g. OR for the highest income quintile and malignant bone tumours = 2.11; 95 % CI: 1.01, 4.38) and for parental education in association with higher education for some tumour types. For malignant epithelial neoplasms, higher parental education and income level were overall associated with an increased risk, e.g. OR = 1.63 (95 % CI: 1.00, 2.65) for the fourth group of maternal income during pregnancy. We found no risk pattern for neighbourhood SEP.
CONCLUSION: This large register-study with minimal risk of bias found a tendency of slightly to moderately increased risks for most childhood non-CNS solid tumours in association with higher maternal income and parental education. Future research examining the underlying mechanisms of these socioeconomic differences in non-CNS solid tumours as well as other childhood cancer types are warranted.