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Birth Order and Brain Tumor: Related?

Here is a new dilemma for parents who have multiple numbers of children. A latest study done by German researchers claim that having younger siblings could// actually raise the chances of tumors in the brain, in the older children. The risk decreases in the chronological order of the children in the family.

The study was based on the data collected from Sweden that looked into case sheets of over 13,600 brain tumor patients from Sweden. The results of the study were published in the journal Neurology.

The researchers mention that the population based study showed that the risk of developing tumours called medulloblastoma or ependymoma and neuroblastomas decreases by half in people who are younger in the chronological order of the family. Chances of meningomas occurring are four times more in older siblings when compared to children who have no younger siblings.

Certain experts have waved of the concerns raised by this study saying that the results are not truly conclusive as it has several limitations. Statistics show that the risk of developing a brain tumour during an individual’s life time is less than 1 % in both sexes.

"The researchers opine that he occurrence of tumors in older siblings could be because of that infections and re-infections during adolescence, which has a significant role to play in the development of pediatric brain tumors. Whereas younger siblings, who may contract an illness from their older ones, seem to develop a resistance that protects them in late childhood, postulates the researchers.

Researchers clarified that other socio economic factors that affect development of brain tumors cannot be entirely ruled out.

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