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Am J Epidemiol. 1987 Oct;126(4):578-86.

Cancer in a group at risk of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) through 1984.


Using a proportional morbidity analysis method, the authors examined changes in the risk of malignancy among never-married men 20-49 years old (a surrogate population for homosexual men) in a high AIDS-risk area (City of San Francisco) and other lower AIDS-risk areas. This approach easily detected increases in Kaposi's sarcoma (odds ratio (OR) comparing 1973-1978 to 1984: 2,479-fold, proportional increase = 99.9%) and in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (OR = 4.2-fold in 1984, p for trend less than 0.0001, proportional increase = 70%) in the City of San Francisco, with excesses especially in the Burkitt-like lymphomas and immunoblastic lymphomas. Extranodal lymphomas of the brain, but not other sites, were especially prominent (proportional increase = 96%). In addition, nonsignificant increases were seen for Hodgkin's disease (p for trend = 0.13) and for hepatoma (p for trend = 0.08). A posteriori, the authors noted increases in urinary tract tumors and acute lymphoblastic leukemia which warrant monitoring. Other tumors suggested to be AIDS-associated did not occur excessively in this population. Among single young men outside of San Francisco, Kaposi's sarcoma also increased significantly (OR = 182 in 1984), suggesting a lag of about three years behind the increases in the City of San Francisco. Some tumors may require a longer latent period before an association becomes manifest. In the meantime, however, these data indicate that the increases in AIDS-related cancers are limited to only a few malignancies.

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