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Children in affluent, less dense environments at high risk of childhood cancers
Detail: According to the the largest study yet, focusing on incidence of cancer in British children, published by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment, children from affluent families in less densely populated environments are at high risk of childhood cancers.

The study used data from more than 30,000 children. The findings suggest that children in richer parts of Britain are more likely to develop many types of cancer. The findings also hold true for children living in isolated rural areas, rather than crowded cities. The researchers claim that many childhood cancers are triggered by a cell mutation developed before birth. This is followed by an infection in infancy which prompts an abnormal immune response that causes the disease.

The researchers suggest that children raised in too clean an environment develop impaired immune systems. Alternatively, "urban" viruses could be finding their way into rural populations, causing genetic damage leading to cancer. However, children living in crowded environments become immune to viruses due to increased exposure to them.
Source: United Press International, http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060720-122714-7860r
Date: July 20 2006