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Childhood leukaemia linked with stroke in later life

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Children successfully treated for brain tumours or leukaemia are more likely to have strokes later in life, according to new US research.

Children successfully treated for brain tumours or leukaemia are more likely to have strokes later in life, according to new US research.

In the first study of its kind, researchers studied stroke rates in 4,828 leukaemia survivors, 1,871 brain tumour survivors, and 3,846 siblings of cancer survivors.

Compared with siblings, leukaemia survivors were at 6.4 times greater risk of stroke and brain tumour survivors were at 29 times the risk.

The risk of stroke rose in children who received higher doses of cranial radiation therapy.

The authors concluded that efforts should be made to reduce radiation doses in leukaemia and brain tumour treatment regimens 'whenever practical'.

Journal of Clinical Oncology (2006); 24: 5277-5282.

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