Diabetes may be linked to risk of lymphoma

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - More cases of blood cancers classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or NHL, seem to occur among people with diabetes than those without, researchers report.

“Although the relative risk is moderate, given the rapidly increasing incidence and prevalence of diabetes, the number of incident cases of NHL attributed to diabetes can potentially be very high,” Dr. Anastassios G. Pittas and colleagues point out in their report in the medical journal Diabetes Care.

Pittas, at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and his team found 16 previous studies reporting an association between diabetes and NHL. Combined data from all the studies showed that the likelihood of developing NHL was 19 percent higher for subjects with diabetes than for comparison groups without diabetes.

The researchers point out that the incidence of NHL has increased since 1950. They think the immune changes associated with diabetes “may, at least in part, account for the increased risk of NHL that we found in this study.”

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, December 2008.

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