Autoimmune disease in individuals and close family members and susceptibility to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Lene Mellemkjaer, Ruth M. Pfeiffer, Eric A. Engels, Gloria Gridley, William Wheeler, Kari Hemminki, Jørgen H. Olsen, Lene Dreyer, Martha S. Linet, Lynn R. Goldin, Ola Landgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and Sjögren's syndrome have been consistently associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). This study was initiated to evaluate the risks of NHL associated with a personal or family history of a wide range of autoimmune diseases. Methods. A population-based case-control study was conducted that included 24,728 NHL patients in Denmark (years 1977-1997) and Sweden (years 1964-1998) and 55,632 controls. Using univariate logistic and hierarchical regression models, we determined odds ratios (ORs) of NHL associated with a personal history of hospital-diagnosed autoimmune conditions. Risks of NHL associated with a family history of the same autoimmune conditions were assessed by similar regression analyses that included 25,941 NHL patients and 58,551 controls. Results. A personal history of systemic autoimmune diseases (RA, SLE, Sjögren's syndrome, systemic sclerosis) was clearly linked with NHL risk, both for individual conditions (hierarchical odds ratios [OR h] ranged from 1.6 to 5.4) and as a group (ORh 2.64 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.72-4.07]). In contrast, a family history of systemic autoimmune diseases was modestly and nonsignificantly associated with NHL (ORh 1.31 [95% CI 0.85-2.03]). An increased risk of NHL was found for a personal history of 5 nonsystemic autoimmune conditions (autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, and sarcoidosis) (ORh ranged from 1.5 to 2.6) of 27 conditions examined. Conclusion. Overall, our results demonstrate a strong relationship of personal history of systemic autoimmune diseases with NHL risk and suggest that shared susceptibility may explain a very small fraction of this increase, at best. Positive associations were found for a personal history of some, though far from all, nonsystemic autoimmune conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-666
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis and Rheumatism
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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