High Levels of Education Linked to Heightened Brain Tumour Risk


A university degree is linked to a heightened risk of developing a brain tumor, suggests a large observational study, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Gliomas, in particular, were more common among people who had studied at university for at least three years than they were among those who didn’t go on to higher education, the data show.

The researchers base their findings on more than 4.3 million Swedes, all of whom were born between 1911 and 1961 and living in Sweden in 1991.

They were monitored between 1993 and 2010 to see if they developed a primary brain tumor, and information on educational attainment, disposable income, marital status, and occupation was obtained from national insurance, labour market,and national census data.

During the monitoring period, 1.1 million people died and more than 48,000 emigrated, but 5735 of the men and 7101 of the women developed a brain tumour.

Men with university level education, lasting at least three years, were 19% more likely to develop a glioma–a type of cancerous tumour arising in glial cells that surround and support neurons in the brain–than men whose educational attainment didn’t extend beyond the period of compulsory schooling (9 years).

Among women, the magnitude of risk was 23% higher for glioma, and 16% higher for meningioma–a type of mostly non-cancerous brain tumor arising in the layers of tissue (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord–than it was for women who didn’t go on to higher education.

Taking account of potentially influential factors, such as marital status and disposable income, only marginally affected the size of the risk, and only among the men.

High levels of disposable income were associated with a 14% heightened risk of glioma among men, but had no bearing on the risk of either meningioma or acoustic neuroma–a type of non-cancerous brain tumor that grows on the nerve used for hearing and balance.

Nor was disposable income associated with heightened risk of any type of brain tumor among the women.

Occupation also seemed to influence risk for men and women. Compared with men in manual roles, professional and managerial roles (intermediate and high non-manual jobs) were associated with a 20% heightened risk of glioma and a 50% heightened risk of acoustic neuroma.

The risk of glioma was also 26% higher among women in professional and managerial roles than it was for women in manual roles, while the risk of meningioma was 14% higher.

Single men also seemed to have a significantly lower risk of glioma than married/co-habiting men, but, on the other hand, they had a higher risk of meningioma. No such associations were evident among the women.

This is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and the researchers point out that they were not able to glean information on potentially influential lifestyle factors, but they emphasise that their findings were consistent, and they point to the strengths of using population data.

 

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health abstract

Advertisements

About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 17 May, 2017, in Blog, Research and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Please help us to Raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by Commenting and Sharing

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: