Swedish researchers conducted a study to determine whether the increased risk of malignant lymphomas in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was the result of environmental and genetic factors rather than a consequence of the disease itself. For their study, the researchers looked at 76,527 patients hospitalized with RA between 1964 and 1999. The participants were followed for >3 decades, and any occurrences of cancer were reported. In addition, to rule out genetic factors, the scientists looked at the incidence of malignant lymphomas in the first-degree relatives of the patients.
The results showed a significant increase in the risk of malignant lymphomas in RA patients.
The investigators concluded that lymphomas complicating RA appear to be a direct consequence of the inflammation or its treatment. There was no increase in the risk of cancer among first-degree relatives with RA.
One study linked multiple pregnancies to an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, and another investigated the association between premature delivery and cardiovascular disease.
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