The influence of prenatal exposure to trans-fatty acids for development of childhood haematopoietic neoplasms (EnTrance): a natural societal experiment and a case-control study
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BACKGROUND: Little is known about the causes of childhood cancer, partly as not many children develop cancer, although childhood cancer is a leading cause of death by disease in the young. The young age of the children suggests that risk factors for childhood cancer may be present during pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that exposure to trans-fat, a type of unsaturated fat common in industrially produced foods (iTFA), has adverse health effects in adults, including the risk of developing cancer. Haematopoietic neoplasms are the most common cancer types among European children under the age of 15 years. This study will bring new knowledge as to whether trans-fat and other fatty acids may also increase the risk of developing haematopoietic neoplasms during childhood.
METHODS: We will investigate if the Danish iTFA legislation ban, which radically reduced the use of iTFA in foodstuffs, influenced the risk of childhood haematopoietic neoplasms in children born either before or after the change in legislation, adjusting for relevant secular trends. Further, in a case-control study, we will examine if levels of fatty acids in dried blood spots from newborns can predict the risk of developing childhood haematopoietic neoplasms. Permission from the Danish Data Protection Agency and the Ethical Committee has been granted.
DISCUSSION: The results from this study will provide important information about fatty acids in the mother's diet as a contributor to development of haematopoietic neoplasms during childhood, which may result in relevant preventive action.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Not relevant.