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Lymphoma Risk Low Among Psoriasis Patients

Relative risk is raised but absolute risk remains small

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with psoriasis have a higher relative risk of lymphoma, the absolute risk remains low because the disease is rare and the magnitude of association is small, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Joel M. Gelfand, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data on 3,994 patients with severe psoriasis who underwent systemic treatment and 149,203 patients with mild psoriasis who did not receive any systemic therapy.

In both groups there was an association with increased risk of lymphoma. For mild and severe cases, the respective relative risk was 1.34 and 1.59 for all lymphoma, 1.15 and 0.73 for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 1.42 and 3.18 for Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 4.10 and 10.75 for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. For the latter group, the risk may be higher among patients with severe psoriasis, but in general the risk is small, the authors note.

"It is important to consider the subtype of lymphoma when investigating this association," the authors write. "Although patients with psoriasis may have an increased relative risk of lymphoma, the absolute risk attributable to psoriasis is low given that lymphoma is a rare disease and the magnitude of association is modest," they conclude.

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