Maternal Smoking in Pregnancy Unrelated To Paediatric Brain Tumours
Currently available data does not show a clear association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and paediatric brain tumour development.
Researchers in the United States performed a meta-analysis to statistically pool all available observational studies that suggest a possible association between the two. Their included 6,566 subjects enrolled in 12 different studies.
Investigators from the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield and the Meta-Analysis Research Group in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, prospectively defined literature search techniques, study inclusion criteria and statistical procedures.
They pooled study data using a general variance-based method. Summary relative risk (RRs) reflecting the risk of childhood brain tumour development associated with mother's smoking during the index pregnancy became the outcome of interest.
Sensitivity analyses were performed to explain any observed statistical heterogeneity and/or to evaluate the impact of demographic or study characteristics on the summary estimate of effect.
The researchers report that homogeneity analysis demonstrated that the data were homogeneous and could be statistically combined.
"Pooling of all 12 reports yielded a RRs of 1.05, a non-statistically significant result suggesting no clear association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of childhood brain tumour development," investigators report.
They say the numerous sensitivity analyses they performed failed to show any influence on RRs, further supporting the observed lack of association.