Celiac.com 04/10/2006 - According to findings by Dutch researchers, celiac disease increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma—but to a lower level than once believed. Past celiac disease studies have indicated that there is a 30 to 40-fold increased risk of enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma, however, Dr. M. Luisa Mearin and colleagues in The Netherlands investigated the frequency of celiac disease in two large European populations—one was a control group and the other was a group of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients—and found that 1.2% of the non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients had celiac disease compared to 0.5% of the controls. After adjusting for age and sex differences between the two groups they found that celiac disease patients had a 2.6-fold increase risk of getting non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this increased risk was only associated with patients who had been diagnosed prior to the study, and not in those with “silent” celiac disease which was found during the study. The odds of T-cell type small bowel lymphoma in celiac disease patients was estimated to be 28 times higher than for other localizations.
The researchers conclude that celiac disease patients have a significantly increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but the association is lower than previously thought. Celiac disease is mainly associated with T-cell small bowel lymphoma which is, in general, a rare condition.