Incidence of cancer among men with the Felty syndrome

Ann Intern Med. 1994 Jan 1;120(1):35-9. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-120-1-199401010-00006.


Objective: To estimate the incidence of cancer (especially lymphoproliferative malignancies) in patients with the Felty syndrome.

Design: A retrospective cohort study.

Setting: A computerized database of all discharge records for 1969 to 1990 from a Veterans Affairs hospital.

Patients: 906 men with a discharge diagnosis of the Felty syndrome.

Measurements: Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) (ratios of observed-to-expected events) estimated the risk for specific cancers. Hospital records confirmed the diagnoses of the Felty syndrome and cancer.

Results: We observed a twofold increase in total cancer incidence (137 patients; SIR = 2.09; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.5). The risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (19 patients; SIR = 12.8, CI, 7.7 to 20.0) was much greater than the twofold increase in risk for lymphoma generally reported for rheumatoid arthritis. The risk for leukemia was increased but only within 5 years of the first hospitalization for the Felty syndrome, (13 patients; SIR = 7.67; CI, 4.1 to 13.1).

Conclusion: The increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma after the Felty syndrome in our study is similar to the risk associated with the Sjögren syndrome and may reflect similar immunostimulatory mechanisms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Felty Syndrome / complications*
  • Hospitals, Veterans
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies