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People with Celiac Disease are Three Times More Likely to Develop Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

JAMA 2002;287:1413-1419.

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Celiac.com 04/12/2002 - According to a report published in the March 20th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, people with celiac disease are three times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) than the normal population. Dr. Carlo Catassi and colleagues from the University of Maryland in Baltimore compared the prevalence of celiac disease in 653 NHL patients with more than 5,000 healthy control subjects to determine the NHL-celiac disease occurrence rate. The results indicate that 1% of NHL patients also have celiac disease, in comparison with 0.42% of the healthy controls. Adjustments were made for age and sex, and the final results indicate that the odds ratios for a patient with celiac disease of developing NHL are: 3.1 for all types of NHL, 16.9 for gut NHL, and 19.2 for T-cell NHL. The overall risk, however, for someone with celiac disease developing NHL is only 0.63%.

The researchers do not feel that their findings support mass screening for celiac disease, but they do feel that selected NHL patients should be screened for celiac disease. We would also like to add that these findings support the screening of people with celiac disease for NHL, which was not directly addressed by the report.

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