1 Research Programme on Adult Health and Health-related Behaviour, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 unknown3 SUND ph.d. skole4 Research Programme on Adult Health and Health-related Behaviour, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a frequent cancer and incidence rates have increased markedly during the second half of the 20(th) century; however, the few established risk factors cannot explain this rise and still little is known about the aetiology of NHL. Spatial analyses have been applied in an attempt to identify environmental risk factors, but most studies do not take human mobility into account. The aim of this study was to identify clustering of NHL in space and time in Denmark, using 33 years of residential addresses. We utilised the nation-wide Danish registers and unique personal identification number that all Danish citizens have to conduct a register-based case-control study of 3210 NHL cases and two independent control groups of 3210 each. Cases were identified in the Danish Cancer Registry and controls were matched by age and sex and randomly selected from the Civil Registration System. Residential addresses of cases and controls from 1971 to 2003 were collected from the Civil Registration System and geocoded. Data on pervious hospital diagnoses and operations were obtained from the National Patient Register. We applied the methods of the newly developed Q-statistics to identify space-time clustering of NHL. All analyses were conducted with each of the two control groups, and we adjusted for previous history of autoimmune disease, HIV/AIDS or organ transplantation. Some areas with statistically significant clustering were identified; however, results were not consistent across the two control groups; thus we interpret the results as chance findings. We found no evidence for clustering of NHL in space and time using 33 years of residential histories, suggesting that if the rise in incidence of NHL is a result of risk factors that vary across space and time, the spatio-temporal variation of such factors in Denmark is too small to be detected with the applied method.