Neuroblastoma is the most common neoplasm in children under 1 year of age. We examined the relation between residential exposure to pesticides and neuroblastoma, using data from a case-control study of risk factors for neuroblastoma. Incident cases of neuroblastoma (N = 538) were identified through the Pediatric Oncology Group and the Children's Cancer Group. One age-matched control was identified for each case by random digit dialing. Telephone interviews with each parent collected information on residential exposure to pesticides. Pesticide use in both the home and garden were modestly associated with neuroblastoma [odds ratio (OR) = 1.6 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.0-2.3, and OR = 1.7 (95% CI = 0.9-2.1), respectively]. Compared with infants [OR = 1.0 (95% CI = 0.6-2.0)], stronger associations were found for garden pesticides in children diagnosed after 1 year of age [OR = 2.2 (95% CI = 1.3-3.6)], which suggests that pesticides may act through a mechanism more common for neuroblastomas in older children. There was no evidence of differential pesticide effects in subgroups of neuroblastoma defined by MYCN oncogene amplification or tumor stage.
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