Antigenic stimulation and thj occurrence of multiple myeloma

Thomas D. Koepsell, Janet R. Daling, Noel S. Weiss, John W. Taylor, Andrew F. Olshan, Joseph L. Lyon, G. Marie Swanson, Margaret Child

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    49 Scopus citations


    To evaluate whether potent or prolonged stimulation of the immune system increases the risk of multiple myeloma, the authors compared 698 myeloma cases which occurred between July 1, 1977 and June 30, 1981 in four geographic areas of the United States with 1,683 demographically similar controls from the same areas. Cases and controls were interviewed about past exposures which may have involved antigenlc challenge. Although few positive associations emerged, those most consistent with the immune stimulation hypothesis were modest associations between myeloma and a history of rheumatic fever (relative risk (RR) = 1.74,95% confidence interval (Cl) = 1.09-2.77) and between myeloma and urinary tract infection (HR = 1.30, 95% Cl = 1.00-1.69, when self-respondent cases were compared with controls). Little association was found between the risk of myeloma and the number of past viral Illnesses, number of bacterial illnesses, or number of allergy desensitization injections. Myeloma risk was found to be Inversely related to the number of diseases against which a subject reported having been immunized, perhaps because of differences in socioeconomic status between cases and controls. These findings provide little support for the immune system stimulation hypothesis of myeloma etiology, but because of the limitations of Interview techniques for assessing antigen exposure, further studies using laboratory methods may be warranted.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1051-1062
    Number of pages12
    JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 1987


    • Immune system
    • Multiple myeiorna

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology

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  • Cite this

    Koepsell, T. D., Daling, J. R., Weiss, N. S., Taylor, J. W., Olshan, A. F., Lyon, J. L., Swanson, G. M., & Child, M. (1987). Antigenic stimulation and thj occurrence of multiple myeloma. American journal of epidemiology, 126(6), 1051-1062.