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Blood. 2007 Apr 15;109(8):3479-88. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Family history of hematopoietic malignancies and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL): a pooled analysis of 10 211 cases and 11 905 controls from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph).

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Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


A role for genetic susceptibility in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is supported by the accumulating evidence of common genetic variations altering NHL risk. However, the pattern of NHL heritability remains poorly understood. We conducted a pooled analysis of 10 211 NHL cases and 11 905 controls from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph) to evaluate NHL risk among those with hematopoietic malignancies in first-degree relatives. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of NHL and its subtypes were estimated from unconditional logistic regression models with adjustment for confounders. NHL risk was elevated for individuals who reported first-degree relatives with NHL (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.2-1.9), Hodgkin lymphoma (OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.1-2.3), and leukemia (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.2-2.7). Risk was highest among individuals who reported a brother with NHL (OR = 2.8; 95% CI = 1.6-4.8) and was consistent for all NHL subtypes evaluated. If a first-degree relative had Hodgkin lymphoma, NHL risk was highest if the relative was a parent (OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.0-2.9). If a first-degree relative had leukemia, NHL risk was highest among women who reported a sister with leukemia (OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.6-5.6). The pattern of NHL heritability appeared to be uniform across NHL subtypes, but risk patterns differed by specific hematopoietic malignancies and the sex of the relative, revealing critical clues to disease etiology.

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