Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. W. Jay Christian

Committee Member

Dr. Steven Browning

Committee Member

Dr. Wayne Sanderson


Pediatric brain cancer is a rare and potentially deadly diagnosis that affects children in Kentucky at a higher incidence than those nationally. Limited exposures in children early in life to warrant the development and progression of brain cancer point to the role parental exposures experienced in the period prior to conception and throughout pregnancy may play in its development. Many of these exposures may be experienced through occupation. Data on a subset of pediatric brain cancer cases in Kentucky was compared to all cases diagnosed in the state from 1995 to 2019. Survey data of the study sample was collected and work-related characteristics of biological mothers of the sample were standardized using industry codes and analyzed to identify occupation fields with potential associations to pediatric brain cancer. Cases diagnosed at a younger age and those from metropolitan areas were over-represented in the sample. The maternal occupation of the sample varied slightly from the occupational prevalence of the general population. However, since the comparison was made to all working women in the United States 16 years and older, the comparison is flawed. Additional research is needed to verify these findings and identify additional exposures that may contribute to cancer development.