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Tattoos May Increase Risk of Malignant Lymphoma

Risk appears to be highest within first two years of tattoo

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Tattoo exposure is associated with an increased risk of several malignant lymphoma subtypes, according to a study published online in the June issue of eClinicalMedicine.

Christel Nielsen, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues used Swedish National Authority Registers to investigate the association between tattoo exposure and overall malignant lymphoma as well as lymphoma subtypes. Analysis included 1,398 incident cases of malignant lymphoma diagnosed between 2007 and 2017 in individuals aged 20 to 60 years and matched (1:3) controls (4,193 cases).

The researchers found that tattooed individuals had a higher adjusted risk of overall lymphoma (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.21; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 1.48). Highest risk of lymphoma was seen in individuals with less than two years between their first tattoo and the index year (IRR, 1.81; 95 percent CI, 1.03 to 3.20). With intermediate exposure duration (three to 10 years), the risk decreased but increased again in individuals who received their first tattoo ≥11 years before the index year (IRR, 1.19; 95 percent CI, 0.94 to 1.50). There was no evidence of increasing risk with a larger area of total tattooed body surface. Tattoo exposure-associated risk was highest for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (IRR, 1.30; 95 percent CI, 0.99 to 1.71) and follicular lymphoma (IRR, 1.29; 95 percent CI, 0.92 to 1.82).

"For the individual, it is good to know that tattoos can affect your health, and that you should turn to your health care provider if you experience symptoms that you believe could be related to your tattoo," Nielsen said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text

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