Which age groups are at highest risk for pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: J Martin Johnston, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Answer

In the United States, the age-specific incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma only slightly increases over the first 2 decades of life. By comparison, the incidence of Hodgkin disease increases more dramatically as children age. In adulthood, the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma steadily climbs, whereas the age-specific incidence of Hodgkin disease is biphasic.

A study by Mbulaiteye et al of 3,403 cases of Burkitt lymphoma spread over 4 continents found that in all regions and over all periods in the study (which covered 1963-2002), peaks in the rate of Burkitt lymphoma occurred close to the ages of 10 and 70 years. The investigators concluded that their findings—which also included other age-related differences in the disease rate, as well as age-related differences in the male-to-female ratio for the disease’s occurrence—supported their hypothesis that Burkitt lymphoma is multimodal and that the age-related peaks in the disease may aid in determining differences in the disorder’s etiology and/or biology at the peak ages. [27]


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