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Behçet disease ups risk for overall cancer

26 Feb 2018

Patients with Behçet disease (BD) are at an increased risk for overall cancer compared with those without BD, suggests a recent study.

During the follow-up period, cancer was diagnosed in 451 (3.19 percent) patients with BD and 3,975 (2.81 percent) controls.

Compared with controls, patients with BD had significantly higher risk for cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 1.134; 95 percent CI, 1.029–1.25), leukaemia (HR, 5.801; 3.24–10.385), lymphoma (HR, 2.584; 1.5594.283), oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer (HR, 2.113; 1.102–4.052), thyroid cancer (HR, 1.256; 1.05–1.501) and prostate cancer (HR, 1.784; 1.141–2.791).

“Physicians should carefully monitor patients with BD for the potential development of malignancies,” the investigators said.

In this study that sought to determine overall cancer risk and risk for specific cancers in patients with BD, the investigators selected 14,137 participants (mean age 44.2 years; 32.4 percent males) without known previous cancer from the Korean National Health Insurance Database between 2007 and 2014. These patients were matched 1:10 by age and sex to a control population of individuals without BD. Both cohorts were followed for incident cancer until 2015.

One limitation of the study was that treatment or severity of diseases in each individual was not examined, according to the investigators.

In another Korea study using National Health Insurance claims records of 2,402 patients diagnosed with BD between 2013 and 2014, researchers also found that those with BD had higher risks of overall cancer, as well as some solid cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome, but not haematological cancer compared with the general population. [PLoS One 2017;12:e0190182]

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