Introduction The Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI) established a cohort of former and current workers in six semiconductor-manufacturing companies in South Korea, to determine the incidence of occupational cancer. This study compared the prevalence and incidence of general illnesses between patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and a control group.
Research Methods After identifying 43 workers with NHL, OSHRI established a sex- and age-matched control group. The NHL cohort and control groups were compared for the prevalence of infectious diseases before and after diagnosis. The prevalence of infectious diseases was based on diagnostic data collected from National Health Insurance information. Disease names were determined by the ICD-10 disease code.
Outcomes Prior to the diagnosis of NHL, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of bacterial and viral diseases between the groups. However, following the diagnosis of NHL, the prevalence rates of viral and bacterial infections were significantly higher in the NHL group. Significant differences were found in the prevalence of herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, and tuberculosis.
Conclusion Prior to the diagnosis of NHL, there were no significant underlying diseases in the NHL cohort group when compared to the control group. Therefore, we concluded there is no relationship between underlying infectious disease and NHL development. However, the probability of contracting opportunistic infections was higher in the NHL group after diagnosis. Presumably, cancer progression and treatment may cause opportunistic infections. Further evaluation is necessary to support this result.
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