The question of whether persons with a history of tonsillectomy are at increased risk of Hodgkin's disease (HD) in adulthood was evaluated in companion population-based case-control studies conducted in the eastern Massachusetts and the Detroit metropolitan areas. These studies compared the history of tonsillectomy among incident cases with that of all their siblings by matched analysis controlling for confounding by childhood social class, family size, and birth order. Among young adults (15-39 yr) there is substantial evidence that tonsillectomy is not a risk factor and the relative risk (RR) is 1.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.72-1.4). Among middle-aged persons (40-54 yr) the RR is not significantly elevated, 1.5 (0.67-3.3), and the direction of the association differs between the sexes, consistent with the hypothesis of no association. Among older persons, the RR is significantly elevated, 3.0 (1.3-6.9), but the data are sparse. On the basis of these data, it appears unlikely that prior tonsillectomy is a causal factor in the development of HD in young and middle-aged adulthood. Whether it is a risk for the malignancy occurring late in life is unclear.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research