Transfusion history and cancer risk in older women

James R. Cerhan, Robert B. Wallace, Aaron R. Folsom, John D. Potter, Ronald G. Munger, Ronald J. Prineas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the hypothesis that history of blood transfusion is associated with an increased incidence of cancer in older women. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: General community in the state of Iowa. Participants: Random sample of 37 337 cancer-free Iowa women ages 55 to 69 years. Measurements: Transfusion history was assessed with a mailed questionnaire completed in January 1986. Cancer incidence in 5 years was ascertained by a population-based cancer registry. Results: Women who had ever received a blood transfusion were at an increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (relative risk (RR) = 2.20; 95% Cl, 1.35 to 3.58) and kidney cancer (RR = 2.53; Cl, 1.34 to 4.78). The relative risks for these cancers were greater with decreasing time from first transfusion. No increased risk occurred for cancers of the breast, lung, uterine corpus, ovary, pancreas, colon, rectum, skin (melanoma), or for all cancers considered together. Conclusion: These findings suggest that previous blood transfusion may be a risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and kidney cancer but is not associated with the most common neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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