The effect of atopy, childhood crowding, and other immune-related factors on non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk
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- Cozen, W., Cerhan, J.R., Martinez-Maza, O. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2007) 18: 821. doi:10.1007/s10552-007-9025-5
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Since adult immune responsiveness is influenced by early childhood exposures, we examined the role of family size, history of atopic disease, and other childhood immune-related exposures in a multi-center case–control study of NHL.
Interviews were completed with 1,321 cases ascertained from population-based cancer registries in Seattle, Detroit, Los Angeles and Iowa, and with 1,057 frequency-matched controls, selected by random-digit dialing and from the Medicare files database. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate risk.
A history of any allergy (excluding drug allergies), decreased risk of all NHL (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.7, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.6–1.0), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma [DLBCL] (OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4–0.9), and follicular NHL (OR = 0.7, 95 CI = 0.5, 1.0). A similar effect was observed for hay fever. A history of eczema was associated with an increased risk of follicular lymphoma (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1–3.4), but not DLBCL (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.6–2.0). Asthma did not affect risk. Youngest compared to oldest siblings had a 90% increased risk of DLBCL (95% CI = 1.2–3.1; p for trend with increasing birth order = 0.006), but not follicular lymphoma (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.6–1.8).
We infer that some childhood and immune-related factors may alter NHL risk.