Consanguinity and family history of cancer in children with leukemia and lymphomas

Abdulbari Bener, Srdjan Denic, Mariam Al-Mazrouei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. In native population of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the rate of consanguineous marriages is 50.5%. This study was designed to determine whether the rates of consanguinity and family history of cancer among the families of children with lymphoid malignancy are different from those in the general population. METHODS. The study comprised 117 patients from the whole of the country with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), ranging in age from 2 to 14 years. The consanguinity rate in the study group was compared with the rate in the general population. To study family history of cancer, the authors matched patients with 117 controls. In a telephone interview, each mother was asked to provide data regarding the biologic relationship between her and her husband as well as that between both sets of grandparents; each was also asked whether any family relative had a cancer and, if so, of what type. RESULTS. Among the 69 ALL cases, 80% of families were consanguineous and 20% were nonconsanguineous. Among the 26 NHL and 22 HL cases, each group included 3 consanguineous families, 12% and 14%, respectively. The consanguinity rates for ALL, NHL, and HL were all significantly different from the 50.5% consanguinity rate in the UAE population (all three P values < 0.0001). The family history of cancer was more often positive in ALL patients than in controls (odds ratio, 2.14; confidence interval, 1.01-4.53). Overall and for each lymphoid malignancy, there was no difference in family history of cancer between consanguineous and nonconsanguineous groups of cases. CONCLUSIONS. The consanguinity rate in the families of patients with ALL is significantly higher and in those with NHL and HL significantly lower than that in the UAE population. The family history of cancer is more often positive among ALL cases than controls - consanguinity having no effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2001


  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Case-control study
  • Consanguineous marriages
  • Family history
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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