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Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Jan 15;165(2):126-33. Epub 2006 Oct 27.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and family history of hematologic malignancy.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Genetics Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK.


Familial aggregation of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and the co-occurrence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other hematologic malignancies within families, provide evidence for genetic or common environmental etiologies for these conditions. The authors analyzed the association between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk and family history of hematologic malignancy using a case-control study based in the United Kingdom. The study recruited patients diagnosed with lymphoma during 1998-2001. Results indicated an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for persons with a positive family history of any hematologic malignancy (odds ratio = 1.70, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 2.69) and particularly of any lymphoma (odds ratio = 2.43, 95% confidence interval: 1.14, 5.19). The authors compared the number of hematologic malignancies among relatives reported by the cases and controls with that expected from the national rates of hematologic malignancy registered in the United Kingdom. Through these comparisons, the authors raise questions about the validity of self-reported family history of hematologic malignancy, especially regarding identification of specific types of hematologic malignancies. Given these reservations, they consider how future epidemiologic studies may contribute to further understanding the role of familial susceptibility in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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