Research papers: Cancer RegistriesMortality from cancer and other causes in parents of children with cancer: a population-based study in Piedmont, ItalyZuccolo, Luisaa d; Pastore, Guidoa b; Pearce, Neila e; Mosso, Maria L.a; Merletti, Francoa; Magnani, Corradoa c Author Information aChildhood Cancer Registry of Piedmont, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, S. Giovanni Hospital and University of Turin bDivision of Pediatrics cUnit of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy dDepartment of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK eCentre for Public Health Research, Massey University Wellington Campus, Wellington, New Zealand Correspondence to Ms Luisa Zuccolo, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, BS8 2PR Bristol, UK Tel: +44 (0)117 9287296; fax: +44 (0)117 9287325; e-mail: [email protected] Received 9 September 2005 Accepted 6 May 2006 European Journal of Cancer Prevention: October 2007 - Volume 16 - Issue 5 - p 390-395 doi: 10.1097/01.cej.0000236256.95769.f9 Buy Metrics Abstract This population-based study (the largest on this issue conducted in Southern Europe) has examined mortality among the parents of 2622 children diagnosed with cancer in Piedmont during 1967–1994. Parents were followed up from the date of the index child's birth until the end of 2000, yielding a total of 118 090.7 person-years of observation. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were estimated using mortality rates for the whole population of Piedmont as the reference. Among mothers, total mortality was similar to that expected [SMR 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85–1.23, 117 cases]. A reduced risk of mortality was seen in fathers (SMR 0.91, 95% CI 0.81–1.02, 293 cases); this was largely due to causes other than cancer and the reduction in risk disappeared after the index child's death (SMR 0.98, 95% CI 0.84–1.15, 168 cases). Deaths from cancers of the lymphohaematopoietic system were in excess among mothers (SMR=2.13, 95% CI 1.02–3.92, 10 cases) and breast cancer deaths were in excess specifically among mothers of leukaemic children (SMR 2.32, 95% CI 1.16–4.14, 11 cases). Three mothers dying with breast cancer had index children who had been diagnosed with a bone sarcoma. Parental cancer of the respiratory tract was significantly associated with both tumours of the central nervous system and Hodgkin's lymphoma in the index child. The excess risks identified here may be due to genetic factors or due to parental psychological stress consequent to cancer in a child that may lead to increased mortality either through the direct effects of stress or through consequent changes in lifestyle. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.