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Dengue Virus Infection May Increase Risk for Developing Leukemia

Significant link between virus, leukemia risk observed at three to six years after infection

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Dengue virus infection is associated with an increased risk for leukemia, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Yu-Wen Chien, Ph.D., from the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database to examine the association between dengue and leukemia. A total of 12,573 laboratory-confirmed dengue patients were identified between 2002 and 2011 and were matched with 62,865 controls without dengue.

The researchers found that the risk for leukemia was increased for patients with dengue (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.03). In analyses stratified by follow-up period, there was a significant association seen for dengue virus infection and higher risk for leukemia only between three and six years after infection (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.22). No significant association was identified for dengue and risk for other cancers.

“Although this study provides epidemiologic evidence for the association between dengue virus infection and leukemia, further epidemiologic and experimental studies are required to verify this association and to unravel the potential mechanisms of pathogenesis,” the authors write.

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