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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Risk Linked to Sjogren's

Risk is 16-fold higher than general population; CD4+ T lymphocytopenia is strong predictor

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Sjogren's syndrome patients do have an elevated risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, although the risk may not be as high as previously thought, according to a report in the June issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Elke Theander, M.D., of Malmo University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues reviewed data from Swedish disease registries to determine the risk of lymphoproliferative disease or malignancy and to identify predictors of malignancy in Sjogren's syndrome patients compared with patients with sicca syndrome or the background population.

The risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was higher (standardized incidence ratio, 15.57) in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome than those in the general population, which is lower than the 44-fold higher risk seen in a previous study. They also found that CD4+ T lymphocytopenia was the strongest predictor of malignancy (hazard ratio, 8.14).

"Their observations suggest that there is still much to be learnt about the risk factors for the development of B cell malignancies in Sjogren's syndrome, and equally important, the mechanisms underlying risk factors, such as peripheral CD4+ cell depletion and low serum complement levels," according to an editorial.

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