Background: Although viral hepatitis causes paediatric hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic and extrahepatic cancers in adults, there are few epidemiologic studies on paediatric-cancer risks from parental viral hepatitis. In a nationwide study in a viral hepatitis endemic region and with confirmation in another population-based sample, we examined associations between parental hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) infections and risks of cancers in offspring. Methods: We included all children born in Taiwan in 2004-2014 (N = 2 079 037) with 2160 cancer cases ascertained from the Cancer Registry. We estimated risks for paediatric cancers using Cox proportional-hazard regressions. We checked these associations in a nationwide case-control study in Denmark (6422 cases, 160 522 controls). Results: In Taiwan, paternal HBV was related to child's hepatoblastoma [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05, 2.97] when identified at any time in the medical record, and when analyses were limited to hepatitis diagnoses occurring before the child's birth, risks increased (HR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.13-3.80). Paternal HCV was related to child's non-Hodgkin lymphoma (HR = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.13-3.74). Maternal HCV was weakly related to increased risks of all childhood cancers [all types combined; HR = 1.45, 95% CI = 0.95-2.22]. The population-attributable fraction of hepatoblastoma for maternal, paternal and child HBV was 2.6%, 6.8% and 2.8%, respectively. Conclusions: Parental HBV and HCV may be risk factors for hepatic and non-hepatic cancers in children. If associations are causal, then parental screening and treatment with antivirals may prevent some paediatric cancers.
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