Environmental risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: umbrella review and comparison of meta-analyses of summary and individual participant data release_222vpzutnfhglgih6bus2mbjuq

by Xiaoting Shi, Haoran Zhuo, Yuxuan Du, Kate Nyhan, John Ioannidis, Joshua D Wallach

Published in BMJ Medicine by BMJ.

2022   e000184

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Objectives</jats:title>To summarise the range, strength, and validity of reported associations between environmental risk factors and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and to evaluate the concordance between associations reported in meta-analyses of summary level data and meta-analyses of individual participant data.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Design</jats:title>Umbrella review and comparison of meta-analyses of summary and individual participant level data.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Data sources</jats:title>Medline, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, Cochrane Library, and Epistemonikos, from inception to 23 July 2021.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Eligibility criteria for selecting studies</jats:title>English language meta-analyses of summary level data and of individual participant data evaluating associations between environmental risk factors and incident non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (overall and subtypes).</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Data extraction and synthesis</jats:title>Summary effect estimates from meta-analyses of summary level data comparing ever versus never exposure that were adjusted for the largest number of potential confounders were re-estimated using a random effects model and classified as presenting evidence that was non-significant, weak (P&lt;0.05), suggestive (P&lt;0.001 and &gt;1000 cases), highly suggestive (P&lt;0.000001, &gt;1000 cases, largest study reporting a significant association), or convincing (P&lt;0.000001, &gt;1000 cases, largest study reporting a significant association, I<jats:sup>2</jats:sup> &lt;50%, 95% prediction interval excluding the null value, and no evidence of small study effects and excess significance bias) evidence. When the same exposures, exposure contrast levels, and outcomes were evaluated in meta-analyses of summary level data and meta-analyses of individual participant data from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology (InterLymph) Consortium, concordance in terms of direction, level of significance, and overlap of 95% confidence intervals was examined. Methodological quality of the meta-analyses of summary level data was assessed by the AMSTAR 2 tool.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title>We identified 85 meta-analyses of summary level data reporting 257 associations for 134 unique environmental risk factors and 10 subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma nearly all (79, 93%) were classified as having critically low quality. Most associations (225, 88%) presented either non-significant or weak evidence. The 11 (4%) associations presenting highly suggestive evidence were primarily for autoimmune or infectious disease related risk factors. Only one association, between history of coeliac disease and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, presented convincing evidence. Of 40 associations reported in meta-analyses of summary level data that were also evaluated in InterLymph meta-analyses of individual participant data, 22 (55%) pairs were in the same direction, had the same level of statistical significance, and had overlapping 95% confidence intervals; 28 (70%) pairs had summary effect sizes from the meta-analyses of individual participant data that were more conservative.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusion</jats:title>This umbrella review suggests evidence of many meta-analyses of summary level data reporting weak associations between environmental risk factors and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Improvements to primary studies as well as evidence synthesis in evaluations of evironmental risk factors and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are needed.</jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Review registration number</jats:title>PROSPERO CRD42020178010.</jats:sec>
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