Studies of cancer risk in celiac disease (CD) or dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) indicate increased risks for malignant lymphoma and occasionally other neoplasms.
In this study, a research team from Scandinavia utilized Swedish population-based inpatient and cancer registry data.
|Adults with celiac disease had an elevated overall risk of cancer.|
They followed-up 12000 subjects with CD or DH, and evaluated cancer incidence by using standardized incidence ratios (SIR).
The researchers found that adults with CD had an elevated overall risk of cancer (SIR = 1.3), however, this risk declined over time.
They also identified elevated risks of malignant lymphoma, small-intestinal, oropharyngeal, esophageal, large intestinal, hepatobiliary, and pancreatic carcinomas.
However, the higher occurrence of malignant lymphoma was confined to adults.
This risk decreased with time of follow-up evaluation and decreased over successive calendar periods.
Conversely, decreased risks were found for breast cancer.
The team also found that subjects with DH had a slightly increased overall cancer risk (SIR = 1.2), but no increases of gastrointestinal carcinomas.
Dr Johan Askling's team concluded, "Albeit increased, the relative risks for lymphomas and gastrointestinal cancers in this study are lower (and declining) than in most previous reports".
"The overall cancer risk is only moderately increased, and nonelevated during childhood and adolescence".
In a related editorial in the same publication, Drs Conor Loftus and Edward Loftus Jr also discuss cancer risk in CD and DH.
They identify an increased risk of lymphoma in both conditions, while CD increases the risk of oropharyngeal, esophageal, and small bowel carcinoma.
The authors concluded, "Survival in CD is improved by early diagnosis and strict adherence to a gluten-free diet".