Autoimmune Disorders Linked to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Higher risk seen with rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren syndrome, lupus and celiac disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Some autoimmune and inflammatory disorders are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a study in the Jan. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Karin Ekstrom Smedby, M.D., of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues analyzed the self-reported histories of 3,055 non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients in Denmark and Sweden and 3,187 matched controls.

The researchers found the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (odds ratio 1.5), primary Sjogren syndrome (OR 6.1), systemic lupus erythematosus (OR 4.6) and celiac disease (OR 2.1). These conditions were also linked to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and some were connected to marginal zone, lymphoplasmacytic or T-cell lymphoma, the report indicates.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk was associated with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic corticosteroids and some immunosuppressants but only in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and not other conditions, the investigators found.

"Our results confirm the associations between certain autoimmune disorders and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and suggest that the associations may not be general but rather mediated through specific non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes," the authors write. "These non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes develop during postantigen exposure stages of lymphocyte differentiation, consistent with a role of antigenic drive in autoimmunity-related lymphomagenesis."

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