Source Registre des hémopathies malignes de Côte d'Or, EA 4184, Faculté de médecine, Dijon, France.
BACKGROUND: The association between hepatitis C infection and lymphoid malignancies is still a matter of debate. The hypothesis of a relationship between hepatitis B and lymphoid neoplasms is more recent and has been far less thoroughly explored.
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between hepatitis C and B infections and B cell non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas.
METHODS: We took advantage of the co-existence in the French administrative area of Côte d'Or of two specialized registries - one for viral hepatitis and one for haematological diseases - to conduct a population-based, cohort study covering a 12-year period. The databases were anonymized and then linked using a probabilistic model.
RESULTS: There were 8234 person-years at risk in the hepatitis C cohort and 2784 in the hepatitis B cohort. We found 6 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the hepatitis C cohort, resulting in an overall adjusted standardized incidence ratio of 3.42 (CI: 1.25-7.45). Three of these 6 cases were diffuse-large-B-cell-lymphoma. Cirrhosis was associated with a higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the hepatitis C cohort (relative risk=8.4, p<0.01, using a Poisson regression). We found one case of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia amongst the hepatitis B carriers.
CONCLUSION: Hepatitis C carriers are at a higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma than the general population. The role of cirrhosis and the association between hepatitis B and lymphoid malignancies deserve to be further assessed.