Background: Certain commonly used drugs and medical conditions characterized by chronic immune dysfunction and/or antigen stimulation have been suggested to affect important pathways in multiple myeloma tumor cell growth and survival. We conducted a population-based case-control study to investigate the role of medical history in the etiology of multiple myeloma among Connecticut women. Methods: A total of 179 incident multiple myeloma cases (21-84 years, diagnosed 1996-2002) and 691 population-based controls was included in this study. Information on medical conditions, medications, and medical radiation was obtained by in-person interviews. We calculated odds ratios (OR) as measures of relative risks using logistic regression models. Results: A reduced multiple myeloma risk was found among women who had used antilipid statin therapy [OR, 0.4; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.2-0.8] or estrogen replacement therapy (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-0.99) or who had a medical history of allergy (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.3-0.7), scarlet fever (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9), or bursitis (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.7). An increased risk of multiple myeloma was found among women who used prednisone (OR, 5.1; 95% CI, 1.8-14.4), insulin (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.1-9.0), or gout medication (OR, 6.7; 95% CI, 1.2-38.0). Conclusions: If our results are confirmed, mechanistic studies examining how prior use of insulin, prednisone, and, perhaps, gout medication might promote increased occurrence of multiple myeloma and how antilipid statins, estrogen replacement therapy, and certain medical conditions might protect against multiple myeloma may provide insights to the as yet unknown etiology of multiple myeloma.
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