Disease Proof

Research: Repeated Antiobiotic Users at Greater Risk of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

The American Journal of Epidemiology just published research associating the repeated use of antiobiotics with an elevated risk for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL).

Use of antibiotics more than 10 times during adulthood was positively associated with risk of NHL and most major NHL subtypes; when users were compared with nonusers, the odds ratio for NHL was 1.8 (95% confidence interval: 1.4, 2.3); ptrend for total antibiotic use <0.001. In addition, high cumulative use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was marginally associated with elevated NHL risk. Other medications evaluated were not associated with risk of NHL or its most common subtypes. Findings suggest that inflammation, infections, susceptibility to infections, and/or use of antibiotics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat these conditions may increase the risk of NHL.

Ellen T. Chang, Karin Ekström Smedby, Henrik Hjalgrim, Claudia Schöllkopf, Anna Porwit-MacDonald, Christer Sundström, Edneia Tani, Francesco d'Amore, Mads Melbye, Hans-Olov Adami, and Bengt Glimelius wrote the article.

Intelihealth reports that NHL affects about 45,000 Americans, and adds that "for unknown reasons, this cancer has been becoming more common." Perhaps the work of Chang et al will move us a step closer to understanding that trend more clearly.

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