Objective To evaluate the role of parental military service-related exposures and rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) risk in offspring using data from a large case-control study of childhood RMS.
Study design Cases (n = 319) were enrolled from the third trial run by the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group. Population-based controls (n = 319) were pair-matched to cases on race, sex, and age. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate parental military service-related exposures and their associations with childhood RMS by generating aORs and 95% CIs. Statistical significance was defined as P <.05.
Results There were no significant associations between parental military service and childhood RMS. The strongest association was with maternal military service; however, this association was attenuated and did not remain significant after adjusting for covariates (aOR = 2.75, 95% CI 0.71, 10.62). An elevated effect estimate was found when assessing paternal exposure to Agent Orange (AO) and childhood RMS but was not statistically significant (aOR = 1.72, 95% CI 0.55, 5.41).
Conclusions We found little evidence that parental military service of AO exposure influences the risk of RMS in offspring. These findings are notable in light of the continuing controversies surrounding the intergenerational effects of AO exposure.