Hepatitis B virus infection increases risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

January 01, 0001

Hepatitis B virus infection increases risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is common throughout Asia and Africa. Whether chronic HBV infection increases risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is unclear. The researchers from the USA and South Korea aimed to assess the association between chronic HBV infection and subsequent development of NHL in a South Korean cohort. Of 1,284,586 eligible participants, 603,585 had baseline data for serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status and were included in the study. Participants were followed up from baseline until Dec 31, 2006. They used national databases of inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and mortality records to ascertain occurrence of haematological malignancies

9% of 603,585 participants tested positive for HBsAg at baseline. Subsequently, 133 HBsAg-positive and 905 HBsAg- negative individuals developed NHL. HBsAg-positive participants had an increased risk of NHL overall compared with those who were HBsAg-negative (hazard ratio 1.74). Among NHL subtypes, HBsAg positivity was associated with increased risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (HR 2.01) and other or unknown subtypes (HR 1.65), compared with HBsAg negativity. Increased risk was also recorded for malignant immunoproliferation (HR 3.79). Risk of these malignancies was consistently raised in HBsAg-positive participants throughout 14 years of follow-up. HBsAg positivity was not associated with follicular or T-cell NHL, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or various leukaemias.

The researchers concluded: "During extended follow- up, HBsAg-positive individuals had an increased risk of NHL, suggesting that chronic HBV infection promotes lymphomagenesis."

Consider lymphoma, along with primary liver cancer, in patients with Hep B.

For the full abstract, click here.

The Lancet Oncology published online 4 August 2010
© 2010 Elsevier Limited
Hepatitis B virus infection and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in South Korea: a cohort study. Eric A Engels, Eo Rin Cho and Sun Ha Jee. Correspondence to Sun Ha Jee: Sun Ha Jee

Category: D. Digestive. Keywords: Hepatitis B, risk, non-Hodgkin, lymphoma, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 10 September 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.