Author(s): Cocco P, Todde P, Fornera S, Manca MB, Manca P,
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Abstract The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis of a lower mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases among men expressing glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. We designed a mortality study based on death certificates from January 1, 1982 through December 31, 1992 in a cohort of G6PD-deficient men. Cohort members were 1,756 men, identified as expressing the G6PD-deficient phenotype during a 1981 population screening of the G6PD polymorphism. The setting was the island of Sardinia, Italy. Outcome measures were cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMRs), which were computed as 100 times the observed/expected ratio, with the general Sardinian male population as the reference. Deaths from all causes were significantly less than expected due to decreased SMRs for ischemic heart disease (SMR, 28; 95\% confidence interval [CI], 10 to 62), cerebrovascular disease (SMR, 22; 95\% CI, 6 to 55), and liver cirrhosis (SMR, 12; 95\% CI, 0 to 66), which explained 95.6\% of the deficit in total mortality. All cancer mortality was close to the expectation, with a significant increase in the SMR for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (SMR, 545; 95\% CI, 147 to 1,395). A decrease in mortality from cardiovascular diseases was one of the study hypotheses, based on an earlier human report and experimental evidence. However, selection bias is also a likely explanation. Further analytic studies are warranted to confirm whether subjects expressing the G6PD-deficient phenotype are protected against ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. This cohort study is consistent with more recent case-control studies in rejecting the hypothesis of a decreased cancer risk among G6PD-deficient subjects. The observed increase in mortality from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and decrease in mortality from liver cirrhosis were not previously reported.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science