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Am J Epidemiol. 1996 Feb 15;143(4):374-9.

Risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


The possibility that an agent in addition to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may contribute to the etiology of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was studied using participants from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) of homosexual and bisexual men enrolled in 1984-1985 and also in 1987-1991. A nested case-control analysis was conducted. The primary source of information on potential exposures and characteristics of the participants was the baseline study entry interview that was conducted prior to the development of AIDS. A total of 84 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were identified and compared with 527 participants who developed AIDS but had no evidence of cancer. The groups were similar for most sociodemographic characteristics as well as sexual activity and past history of antecedent illnesses. Although the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cases reported less frequent use of recreational drugs and cigarettes compared with other persons with AIDS, these differences were not significant. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cases reported more frequent intake of aspirin during the week before the interview. However, there were no differences between the comparison groups for long-term aspirin intake or intake of other analgesics. The absence of any specific and strong association between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and the various behavior-related activities and exposures considered in this analysis suggests that these factors are not related to a second agent in the etiology of HIV-induced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The possibility that a very common agent in this study population or that differences in the nature of the immune dysfunction resulting from HIV infection could act as a cofactor for HIV-induced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cannot be excluded.

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