Objectives The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with JIA have an elevated cancer risk and if so, which cancer types are increased.
Methods Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated for overall cancer, lymphoma, leukaemia and skin cancer for 4080 JIA patients, that took part in the study, and that had been admitted to the German Centre for Rheumatology in Children and Young People, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, between 1952 and 2010. Data had been obtained via a postal questionnaire survey and compared to the German cancer registry.
Results A response of 65% was obtained, participant’s age ranging between 2 and 74 years. SIR for all cancers was 0.49 (95% confidence interval 0.38-0.62) with an elevated overall cancer risk for the younger age groups (0-19 yrs. 3.21; 1.04-3.67, 20-29 yrs. 2.31;1.29-3.81; 30-39 yrs. 1.71; 1.14-2-47). In contrast, cancer risk for the older age groups were statistically significantly reduced (40-49 yrs. 0.34; 0.19-0.56; 50-74 yrs. 0.10; 0.04-0.2). For lymphoma the combined SIR for all age groups was 0.60 (0.16-1.54), for leukaemia 1.51(0.49-3.53) and skin cancer 2.28 (1.43-3.46) with again increased risk in the younger age groups.
Conclusions This study suggests that the risk of cancer might be increased in younger JIA patients (< 40 years), especially with regards to skin cancer and lymphoma. A second part of the study will determine whether incidence was influenced by medication or environmental factors.
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Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the “Förderverein für das Rheumakranke Kind e.v.” for financial support.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared