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Intergenerational transmission of cancers

Joop Garssen, Statistics Netherlands
Anton Kunst, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam
Ingeborg Deerenberg, Statistics Netherlands
Johan P. Mackenbach, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam

This study aims to establish differences in the odds of young persons to die from cancer in the combinations of son-father, son-mother, daughter-father and daughter-mother. Odds are calculated for broad age groups of parents and children, controlling for age of the child, for twelve types of cancer. Calculations concern the same type of cancer in parent and child, as well as different types known or expected to be related. The target population consists of all persons in the Netherlands aged 20-55 years who died of cancer in 1995-2001. Information on the causes of death of parents is retrieved from registers dating back to 1937. Our study adds more detail to earlier research. A link between ovarian cancer (mother) and breast cancer (daughter), for example, has so far not been clearly established. First calculations point at an increased risk (OR=1.7, 95%CI=1.3-2.2) which increases with decreasing age at death of the mother.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Poster Session 4: health and ageing