Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease, which carries a wide variety of comorbidities. The risk of developing malignancy amongst RA patients is of increased both due to the constant inflammatory activity (1) and disease therapies.
Objectives To evaluate the association between RA and malignancies.
Methods In this cross-sectional population based study, data were collected from Israel's largest HMO database, comprising over 4 million patients. Study sample included all RA patients (n=11,782) and sex and age matched controls (n=57,973), total of 69755 patients. Medical records were scanned for anthropometric measurements and diagnosis of malignancy. Logistic regression was used to adjust for age, gender, BMI and socioeconomic status.
Results The total malignancy rate was higher among RA patients comparing to controls (21.4% vs. 11.2%, respectively; p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, sarcomas and malignancies of thyroid and cervix were found to be independently associated with RA. Following multivariate analysis lung carcinoma were not found to be independently associated with RA.
Conclusions RA is independently associated with both hematological and solid malignancies. Appropriate measures for screening for malignancies amongst this patient population should be assessed and implemented.
Baecklund E, Iliadou A, Askling J, Ekbom A, Backlin C, Granath F, et al. Association of chronic inflammation, not its treatment, with increased lymphoma risk in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Mar;54(3):692–701.
Disclosure of Interest None declared