Autoimmune diseases (AIs) are associated with elevated risk for Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL); however, information on the interplay of AIs and HL on survival is sparse.
We evaluated survival patterns for 7,414 patients with HL in relation to a pre-existing hospital discharge diagnosis of an AI. We also assessed survival patterns in relation to a prior AI diagnosis among 29,240 population-based matched controls.
Among female patients with HL with (v those without) a pre-existing AI, the 5-year and 10-year overall survival was 46.0% (63.3%) and 41.0% (51.9%); for males, the corresponding numbers were 48.5% (59.2%) and 43.6% (51.5%), respectively (P < .001). Among female controls with (v those without) a pre-existing AI, the 5-year and 10-year overall survival was 79.1% (90.2%) and 67.2% (83.3%); for males, the corresponding numbers were 82.5% (90.3%) and 68.6% (81.6%), respectively (P < .001). Female patients with HL with (v those without) a pre-existing AI had a 1.8-fold (range, 1.3- to 2.4-fold) increased relative risk of dying at 5 years of follow-up; for males, the corresponding excess relative risk of dying was 1.7-fold (range, 1.3- to 2.2-fold).
Patients with HL have an overall excellent outcome from treatment but also pose some of the most complex challenges of cancer survivorship due to many late effects (eg, second malignancies, thyroid disease, cardiovascular disease, and altered reproductive and sexual function). Our finding that patients with HL with a hospital discharge diagnosis of an AI have a substantially higher risk of dying, emphasizes that underlying chronic diseases, such as AIs, should be high of the list of survivorship concerns for clinicians that treat HL.