Objectives: To estimate the incidence and epidemiological profile of childhood (0-14 years) Hodgkin's lymphoma in Greece derived by the network of childhood Hematology-Oncology departments on the basis of all 95 newly diagnosed cases during a seven-year period.
Methods: Seventy-one of these cases were individually age and gender matched to an equal number of controls.
Results: The incidence of childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma reached a relatively high figure of 7.8 per million children-years, with an age distribution (2.2 for children 0-4; 6.3 for those 5-9 and 13.9 for those 10-14-years-old) and male to female ratio (1.7:1) similar to that reported from other cancer registries. Childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma was more common among children living in less crowded quarters (odds ratio (OR): 6.5 and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI): 1.4-30.7), among those who have changed residence 60 to 18 months before the onset of the index disease (OR: 4.4, and 95% CI = 1.4-14.0), among those whose families owned a cat (OR: 5.5, 95% CI = 1.2-25.6) but not among those whose families owned a dog and marginally more common, among those with a history of infectious mononucleosis (OR: 5.0, 95% CI = 0.6-42.8).
Conclusions: Our results point to infectious agent(s) as playing an etiological role but do not allow discrimination among the delayed establishment of the herd immunity hypothesis, the population mixing hypothesis or that invoking transmission of the agent(s) from the non-human reservoir.