Researchers in France found that children were 2.6 times more likely to become ill with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood leukaemia, if their mothers had been treated with ovary-stimulating drugs.
They had a 2.3-fold increased risk of suffering the rarer form of the disease, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Children conceived naturally after their mothers waited over a year to get pregnant had a 50 per cent greater-than-normal likelihood of developing ALL, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
But, no heightened risk of childhood leukaemia was associated either with in-vitro fertilisation or artificial insemination, say the researchers.
"It has always been hypothesised that assisted reproductive technologies may be involved in the onset of childhood cancer as they involve repeated treatment at the time of conception and or manipulation of the sperm and egg. And it is now established that a majority of acute leukaemia have a pre-natal (pre-birth) origin.