Birth Outcome and Maternal Risk Factors Associated with Childhood Leukemia in Rwanda: A case - Control Study

  • Felicien Turatsinze Public Health, Mount Kenya University, Kigali-Kicukiro-Rwanda
  • Erigene Rutayisire Public Health, Mount Kenya University, Kigali-Kicukiro-Rwanda
  • Michael Habtu Public Health, Mount Kenya University, Kigali-Kicukiro-Rwanda
Keywords: Acute myelogenous leukemia, Acute lymphocytic leukemia, ALL, AML, Childhood cancer, Rwanda


Leukemia is the most common cancer affecting children and remains the top cause of death among children.
This study aimed at determining birth outcomes and maternal risk factors associated with childhood leukemia in Rwanda.
A case control study was conducted at Butaro Cancer Referral hospital. The sample of 103 cases and 103 controls was recruited using the records for children diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and those who were hospitalized for non-cancer treatment as controls. Semi-structured questionnaire and phone calls were used to gather information. SPSS version 21.0 was used to analyze the data. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the risk factors.
The majority (56.8%) of children who participated in the study were aged 10-14 years. Overall 41.3% were born via C-Section. It was revealed that children who had had birth asphyxia had about three (3) times increased risk of childhood leukemia [AoR= 2.47, 95%CI: 1.167-5.262, P=0.018] compared to children that had not experienced birth asphyxia. Children who had suffered Neonatal Jaundice, had five (5) times increased risk of getting leukemia [AOR= 5.05, 95%CI: 1.738-14.664, P=0.003].
It is important that public and private stakeholders invest more in childhood oncology researches to enable the health system deliver effective management of the cases more efficiently.

Rwanda J Med Health Sci 2022;5(2):158-169


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2616-9827
print ISSN: 2616-9819