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June 1973

Tonsillectomy and Hodgkin Disease

Author Affiliations

Division of Otolaryngology School of Medicine University of San Diego San Diego, CA 92103

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(6):497. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010511017

To the Editor.—Due to the current knowledge of immunologic resistance to cancer, the question of an association betwen tonsillectomy and Hodgkin's disease is significant. The tonsils are lymphoid tissue and as such may protect against the development of Hodgkin disease. The issue was first suggested in 1966,1,2 but only recently have two studies produced statistics. Vianna et al,3 collected 109 New York patients with Hodgkin disease. Control patients were selected from hospital records and matched for age, sex, race, county of residence, and date of hospital admission. Their data, as summarized in the Table, indicate a correlation between Hodgkin disease and tonsillectomy. Analysis by the null hypothesis5 indicates that the difference in the frequency of tonsillectomy between Hodgkin patients and the controls is statistically significant at a confidence level of 99.7%.

Johnson et al4 selected 85 patients with Hodgkin disease referred to the Radiation Branch

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