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U.S.-born Latina women more likely to have children with retinoblastoma


In a large epidemiological study, researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center reported that the children of U.S.-born Latina women are at increased risk of having retinoblastoma, a malignant tumor of the retina which typically occurs in children younger than age 6.

The study, which focused on babies born in California, revealed that offspring of older fathers were at greater risk for retinoblastoma, as were children born to women with sexually transmitted diseases and those involved in multiple births, which may indicate the risk increases with in vitro fertilization, according to a news release.

The research team used data from the California Cancer Registry and examined all retinoblastoma cases reported from 1988 to 2007, Julia Heck, the study’s first author and an assistant researcher in the UCLA School of Public Health, said in a news release. Using California data allowed the researchers to cull information from a large and diverse population that included many Latinas.

“One of the most interesting things we found in this study that hasn’t been reported is the differences among Latina mothers and the risk being lower among mothers born in Mexico,” Heck said in the release. “We believe this is because women born in Mexico who come to the U.S. and have children have very healthy behaviors in the perinatal period, immediately before and after giving birth.”

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and appears in the early online edition of the journal Cancer Causes & Control.

Read the study at


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