The risk of cancer in rheumatoid patients in Japan

Scand J Rheumatol. 1995;24(3):157-9. doi: 10.3109/03009749509099305.


In order to clarify the risk of cancer development in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the incidence of malignant tumors during a follow-up period was investigated in RA patients at the Center for Adult Diseases, Osaka, Japan. Six hundred and fifty-five eligible rheumatoid patients (131 males, 524 females) who were admitted to our institute between 1980 and 1989 were matched against the files of the Osaka Cancer Registry. Among them, a total of 26 patients (5 males, 21 females) were noted to have developed some kinds of cancer. The female RA patients demonstrated a significantly higher incidence of all cancers than the general population, with an observed/expected (O/E) ratio of 1.71 (95% confidence interval = 1.06-2.62). Cancer of the buccal cavity/pharynx and thyroid cancer also showed a higher incidence in female RA patients, with O/E ratios of 12.93 and 2.74, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio