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Am J Epidemiol. 2005 May 15;161(10):929-38.

History of chickenpox and shingles and prevalence of antibodies to varicella-zoster virus and three other herpesviruses among adults with glioma and controls.

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1
Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA. wrensch@itsa.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Whether viruses or immunologic factors might cause or prevent human brain cancer is of interest. Statistically significant inverse associations of adult glioma with history of chickenpox and immunoglobulin G antibodies to varicella-zoster virus have been reported. The authors evaluate associations of immunoglobulin G antibodies to varicella-zoster virus and three other herpesviruses among 229 adults with glioma and 289 controls in the San Francisco Bay Area Adult Glioma Study (1997-2000). Cases were less likely than controls to report a history of chickenpox (for self-reported cases vs. controls: the age-, gender-, and ethnicity-adjusted odds ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval: 0.40, 0.86), and they also had lower levels of immunoglobulin G to varicella-zoster virus (for being in the highest quartile vs. the lowest quartile: the age-, gender-, and ethnicity-adjusted odds ratio = 0.41, 95% confidence interval: 0.24, 0.70). The inverse association with anti-varicella-zoster virus immunoglobulin G was most marked for glioblastoma multiforme cases versus controls and was only somewhat attenuated by excluding subjects taking high-dose steroids and other medications. Cases and controls did not differ notably for positivity to three other herpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Cohort studies may help to clarify the nature of the association between immunity to and/or clinical manifestations of varicella-zoster virus and glioblastoma.

PMID:
15870157
DOI:
10.1093/aje/kwi119
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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