The Protective Effect of Maternal Folic Acid Supplementation on Childhood Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Case-control Studies

Wan Rosmawati Wan Ismail, Raudah Abdul Rahman, Nur Ashiqin Abd Rahman, Azman Atil, Azmawati Mohammed Nawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Maternal folic acid supplementation is considered mandatory in almost every country in the world to prevent congenital malformations. However, little is known about the association of maternal folic acid intake with the occurrence of childhood cancer. Hence, this study aimed to determine the effects of maternal folic acid consumption on the risk of childhood cancer. Methods: A total of 158 related articles were obtained from PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and ProQuest using standardized keywords, of which 17 were included in the final review. Results: Eleven of the 17 articles showed a significant protective association between maternal folic acid supplementation and childhood cancer. Using a random-effects model, pooled odds ratios (ORs) showed a protective association between maternal folic acid supplementation and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (OR, 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.86). However, there was no significant association between maternal folic acid supplementation and acute myeloid leukaemia (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.46 to 1.06) or childhood brain tumours (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.19). Conclusions: Maternal folic acid supplementation was found to have a protective effect against childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Thus, healthcare professionals are recommended to provide regular health education and health promotion to the community on the benefits of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of preventive medicine and public health = Yebang Uihakhoe chi
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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Folic Acid
Meta-Analysis
Case-Control Studies
Mothers
Neoplasms
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
Health Promotion
Health Education
PubMed
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Brain Neoplasms
Delivery of Health Care
Pregnancy

Keywords

  • Childhood cancer
  • Folate
  • Maternal
  • Vitamin supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The Protective Effect of Maternal Folic Acid Supplementation on Childhood Cancer : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Case-control Studies. / Wan Ismail, Wan Rosmawati; Abdul Rahman, Raudah; Rahman, Nur Ashiqin Abd; Atil, Azman; Mohammed Nawi, Azmawati.

In: Journal of preventive medicine and public health = Yebang Uihakhoe chi, Vol. 52, No. 4, 01.07.2019, p. 205-213.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Objectives: Maternal folic acid supplementation is considered mandatory in almost every country in the world to prevent congenital malformations. However, little is known about the association of maternal folic acid intake with the occurrence of childhood cancer. Hence, this study aimed to determine the effects of maternal folic acid consumption on the risk of childhood cancer. Methods: A total of 158 related articles were obtained from PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and ProQuest using standardized keywords, of which 17 were included in the final review. Results: Eleven of the 17 articles showed a significant protective association between maternal folic acid supplementation and childhood cancer. Using a random-effects model, pooled odds ratios (ORs) showed a protective association between maternal folic acid supplementation and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (OR, 0.75; 95{\%} confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.86). However, there was no significant association between maternal folic acid supplementation and acute myeloid leukaemia (OR, 0.70; 95{\%} CI, 0.46 to 1.06) or childhood brain tumours (OR, 1.02; 95{\%} CI, 0.88 to 1.19). Conclusions: Maternal folic acid supplementation was found to have a protective effect against childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Thus, healthcare professionals are recommended to provide regular health education and health promotion to the community on the benefits of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy.",
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