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Reuters Health Information (2010-08-04): Hepatitis B linked to lymphoma in study


Hepatitis B linked to lymphoma in study

Last Updated: 2010-08-04 10:30:06 -0400 (Reuters Health)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People infected with hepatitis B virus are around twice as likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, researchers reported today in The Lancet Oncology.

Hepatitis C is also linked to lymphoma.

Dr. Eric Engels of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Sun Ha Jee of Yonsei University in Seoul studied the records of more than 600,000 people in South Korea, where hepatitis B was extremely common before a vaccination campaign began in 1995.

About 9%, or 53,000, were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) at baseline. During 14 years of follow-up, non-Hodgkin lymphoma was more common among the infected people -- 19.4 cases per 100,000 person-years compared to 12.3 per 100,000 person-years in those who did not have hepatitis B (adjusted for age, sex, and year of enrollment).

Researchers think both hepatitis B and C may cause lymphoma by overstimulating the immune system as it tries to fight off the liver infection.


Lancet Oncology 2010.

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