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Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Aug 1;168(3):278-88. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn119. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in women: reproductive factors and exogenous hormone use.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Clinical Nutrition, and Vascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA.


Few studies of reproductive hormone exposures and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have examined NHL subtypes. Associations between reproductive hormonal factors and risk of all NHL and of two predominant subtypes, diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLCL) (n = 233) and follicular lymphoma (n = 173), were investigated among women (n = 581) in a large, population-based, case-control study (1,591 cases, 2,515 controls). Controls (n = 836) identified by random digit dialing were frequency matched by age and county to incident NHL cases ascertained in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in 1988-1993. Adjusted unconditional logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios. More than four pregnancies indicated a possible lower risk of all NHL (odds ratio (OR) = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55, 1.2; p-trend = 0.06) and of DLCL (OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.90; p-trend = 0.01). Exclusive use of menopausal hormone therapy for > or =5 years was associated with a reduced risk of all NHL (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.48, 0.98) and of DLCL (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.85). Oral contraceptive use indicated a lower risk of all NHL (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.94), and perhaps DLCL (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.2), and of follicular lymphoma (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.46, 1.2). Results suggest that endogenous and exogenous reproductive hormones confer different risks by NHL subtype and are associated with a reduced risk of DLCL in women.

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