Childhood head trauma and the risk of childhood brain tumours: A case‐control study in Ontario, Canada Academic Article uri icon

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  • Head trauma in early childhood has been hypothesized as a potential risk factor for childhood brain tumours (CBTs). However, head trauma has not been extensively studied in the context of CBTs and existing studies have yielded conflicting results. A population-based and hospital-based case-control study of children 0 to 15 years with newly diagnosed CBTs from 1997 to 2003 recruited across Ontario through paediatric oncology centres was conducted. Controls were frequency-matched with cases by age, sex and geographical region. The association was assessed based on multivariable logistic regressions, accounting for child's age, sex, ethnicity, highest level of maternal education and maternal pack-years of smoking during the pregnancy. Analyses were conducted separately based on age of first head trauma, sex and histology. A latency period analysis was conducted. Overall, based on 280 cases and 919 controls, CBTs were not significantly associated with previous history of head trauma (OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.96, 1.86), head trauma severity, number of head injuries, or head or neck X-rays or computed tomography (CT) examinations. Results were consistent across sexes and histological subtypes. However, head trauma within the first year of life was significantly associated with CBTs (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.01, 3.98), but the association diminished when adjusted for X-ray or CT occurring during the same time period (OR 1.62, 95% CI 0.75, 3.49), albeit limited sample size. Overall, no association was observed between head trauma and CBTs among all children, while head trauma occurring within first year of life may warrant further investigation in future research.


  • Cheng, Sierra
  • McLaughlin, John R
  • Brown, M Catherine
  • Al‐Sawaihey, Hamad
  • Rutka, James
  • Bouffet, Eric
  • Hawkins, Cynthia
  • Cairney, A Elizabeth
  • Ranger, Adrianna
  • Fleming, Adam
  • Johnston, Donna
  • Greenberg, Mark
  • Malkin, David
  • Hung, Rayjean J

publication date

  • March 2022