Time Trends and Geographical Distribution of Childhood Leukaemia in Basrah, Iraq,from 2004 to 2009

Laith A Alrudainy, Jenan G Hassan, Hussam M Salih, Mohammed K Abbas, Athar AS Majeed

Abstract


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the incidence and trend of childhood leukaemia in Basrah. Methods: This was a hospital-based cancer registry study carried out at the Pediatric Oncology Ward, Maternity & Children’s Hospital and other institutes in Basrah, Iraq. All children with leukaemia, aged 0 to 14 years diagnosed and registered in Basrah from January 2004 to December 2009 were included in the study. Their records were retrieved and studied. The pattern of childhood leukaemia by year of diagnosis, age at diagnosis, morphological subtypes, and geographical distribution was analysed. Rates of childhood leukaemia over time were calculated for six years using standard linear regression. Results: The total number of cases of childhood leukaemia was 181. The number of cases ranged from 21 in year 1, to 31 in the final year reaching a peak of 39 in 2006. Leukaemia rates did not change over the study period (test for trend was not significant, P = 0.81). The trend line shows a shift towards younger children (less than 5 years). The commonest types of leukaemia were acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), then acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and finally chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). Conclusion: Annual rates of childhood leukaemia in Basrah were similar to those in other countries with a trend towards younger children. This raises the question about the effect of environmental catastrophes in the alteration of some specific rates of childhood leukaemia, rather than the overall incidence rate. There is a need for further epidemiological studies to understand the aetiology of childhood leukaemia in Basrah. 


Keywords


Childhood leukemia; Incidence; Time trend; Cancer registry study; Basrah; Iraq

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

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