Is HS Associated With Lymphomas?


Patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) have 2 to 4 times higher odds of developing lymphomas compared with the general population, according to the findings of a recent research letter.

In the cross-sectional cohort study, the researchers identified 62,690 adult patients with HS and 28,937,880 controls using standardized electronic health record information from the IBM Explorys database. They assessed the overall prevalence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), Hodgkin disease (HL), and primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) among individuals with and without HS, as well as within demographic subgroups.

The crude prevalences of NHL, HL, and CTCL among individuals with HS were 0.40%, 0.17%, and 0.06% compared with 0.35%, 0.09%, and 0.02% among those without HS, respectively.


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Multivariable analyses showed that individuals with HS had increased overall odds of developing NHL (odds ratio [OR] 2.0; 95% CI, 1.76-2.26), HL (OR 2.21; 95% CI, 1.83-2.68), and CTCL (OR 4.31; 95% CI, 3.09-6.01).


The researchers observed a significant effect modification between HS and HL across sex subgroups. Compared with women with HS, men with HS had higher prevalences of NHL (crude prevalence 0.32% vs 0.62%, respectively), HL (0.13% vs 0.28%), and CTCL (0.04% vs 0.09%).

In addition, age was found to be a significant effect modifier in the association between HS and NHL. Individuals with HS aged 65 years and older had higher prevalences of NHL and CTCL compared with those aged 45 to 64 years and those aged 18 to 44 years. The prevalence of NHL was 1.2%, 0.52%, and 0.20% for individuals aged 65 years or older, those aged 45 to 64 years, and those aged 18 to 44 years, respectively. Likewise, the prevalence of CTCL was 0.17%, 0.07%, and 0.03% for individuals aged 65 years or older, those aged 45 to 64 years, and those aged 18 to 44 years, respectively.

Compared with individuals without HS aged 18 to 44 years, those with HS between 18 and 44 years had a 3.64 (95% CI, 2.87-4.60) higher odds of developing NHL. Similarly, individuals with HS in the 45 to 64 year age group and 65 years or older age group had 1.99 (95% CI 1.65-2.41) higher odds of NHL compared with those without HS in the same age groups.


“Patients with HS have malignant lymphomas more frequently than the general population,” the researchers concluded.


Tannenbaum R, Strunk A, Garg A. Association between hidradenitis suppurativa and lymphoma [Published online January 30, 2019]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.5230

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