Diabetes and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: analyses of prevalence and annual incidence in 2005 using the National Health Insurance database in Taiwan

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Background: The association between diabetes and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is rarely studied and the risk associated with insulin use is not known.

Materials and methods: The crude and age-standardized trends of NHL incidence in the general population from 1979 to 2007 were first calculated. NHL prevalence and annual incidence in 2005 were calculated in 329 198 insurants aged ≥45 years from a random sample of 1 000 000 insurants of the National Health Insurance. The risk factors were evaluated using logistic regression.

Results: NHL incidence trends increased significantly in either sex. A total of 1079 and 148 NHL cases were identified for prevalence and incidence analyses, respectively. The respective prevalence (per 100 000) for diabetic and nondiabetic subjects was 480.2 and 269.9 (P < 0.01), and the respective incidence (per 100 000) was 70.9 and 35.3 (P < 0.01). Odds ratio for diabetic versus nondiabetic subjects after adjustment for age, sex, occupation, and living region was 1.51 (95% confidence interval 1.33–1.71) for prevalence and 1.48 (1.06–2.06) for incidence. In diabetic patients, the adjusted odds ratio for insulin users versus nonusers was 1.63 (1.23–2.15) for prevalence and 2.52 (1.37–4.64) for incidence.

Conclusions: NHL incidence is increasing in Taiwan. Diabetes and insulin use are associated with a higher risk.

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