Incidence Trend for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in the North Tunisian Population, 1998-2009


Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Salah Azaiez Institute, Tunis, Tunisia


Background: In 2008, non-Hodgkin lymphoma ranked tenth among other malignancies worldwide with an incidence of around 5 cases per 100,000 in both genders. The latest available rates in Tunisia are from 2006. Materials and Methods: This study aimed to provide an update about NHL incidence for 2009 and its trend between 1998 and 2009 as well as a projection until 2024, using data from the Salah Azaiz Institute hospital registry and the Noth Tunisia cancer registry. Results: In 2009, the NHL incidence in the north of Tunisia was 4.03 cases per 100,000, 4.97 for men and 3.10 for women. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) accounted for 63.2% of all NHL subtypes. Between 1998 and 2009, the overall trend showed no significant change. When we compared the trend between two periods (1998-2005 and 2005-2009), joinpoint regression showed a significant decrease of NHL incidence in the first period with an annual percentage change (APC) of -6.7% (95% CI:[-11.2%;-2%]), then the incidence significantly increased from 2005 to 2009 with an APC of 30.5% (95% CI: [16.1%; 46.6%]. The analyses of the different subtype trends showed a significant decrease in DLBCL incidence between 1998 and 2000 (APC:-21.5; 95% CI: [-31.4%;-10.2%]) then the incidence significantly increased between 2004 and 2007 (APC: 18.5; 95% CI: [3,6%;35.5%]). Joint point analysis of the age-period-cohort model projection showed a significant increase between 2002 and 2024 with an APC of 4.5% (%95 CI: [1.5%; 7.5%]). The estimated ASR for 2024 was 4.55/100 000 (95% CI: [3.37; 6.15]). Conclusions: This study revealed an overall steady trend in the incidence of NHL in northern Tunisia between 1998 and 2009. Projection showed an increase in the incidence in NHL in both genders which draw the attention to the national and worldwide burden of this malignancy.