Abstract

Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between maternal sex hormone use during pregnancy, including infertility medication, and an increased risk of neuroblastoma in the offspring. The authors conducted a case-control interview study from 1992 to 1996 that included 504 children less than 19 years of age whose newly diagnosed neuroblastoma was identified by two national collaborative clinical trials groups in the United States and Canada, the Children' Cancer Group and the Pediatric Oncology Group. Controls, matched to cases on age, were identified by random digit dialing. No association was found for use of oral contraceptives before or during pregnancy (first trimester odds ratio (OR) = 1.0, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.5, 2.1). The odds ratio was slightly elevated for history of infertility (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 0.9, 2.1) and ever use of any infertility medication (OR = 1.2. 95% CI: 0.7, 2.2). Specifically, ever use of clomiphene was associated with a 1.6-fold increased risk (95% CI: 0.8, 3.0) but not periconceptionally or during the index pregnancy. A suggestive pattern was found for gender of the offspring, with an increased risk for males but not for females after exposure to oral contraceptives or clomiphene. This study did not find consistent and large increased risks for maternal use of hormones, but the suggestion of an association for male offspring requires further consideration. Am J Epidemiol 1999;150:930-8.