Blood transfusion at delivery and risk of subsequent malignant lymphoma in the mother

Vox Sang. 1998;75(2):145-8.


Background and objectives: Blood transfusion has been shown to be a risk factor for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

Materials and methods: In a cohort of 77,928 women with bleeding complications at delivery in the period of 1973-1986, subsequent NHL cases were identified and the number was compared with the number expected from national incidence rates. In a case-control study the proportion of transfused NHL cases was compared with the proportion of transfused controls.

Results: The observed number of NHL in the cohort was 18 versus 22.0 expected. Information on transfusion was obtained for 15 of the NHL cases and none (0%) was transfused versus 32 out of 136 controls (23%).

Conclusions: Blood transfusion at delivery is not a risk factor for NHL. The immune tolerance induced by pregnancy may reduce the risk of NHL associated with the transfusion of allogeneic blood cells.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / epidemiology
  • Hodgkin Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Transfusion Reaction*