Family and personal medical history and risk of meningioma

Journal of Neurosurgery, Volume 0, Issue 0, Page 1-6, Ahead of Print.

Elizabeth B. Claus, M.D., Ph.D., Lisa Calvocoressi, Ph.D., Melissa L. Bondy, Ph.D., Joellen M. Schildkraut, Ph.D., Joseph L. Wiemels, Ph.D., and Margaret Wrensch, Ph.D.


Little is known about the epidemiology of meningioma, the most frequently reported primary brain tumor in the US. The authors undertook a case-control study to examine the relationship between family and personal medical history and meningioma risk.


The authors compared the personal and first-degree family histories of 1124 patients with meningioma (age range 20–79 years) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area, and 8 Houston counties between May 1, 2006, and February 26, 2010, and the histories of 1000 control individuals who were frequency-matched for age, sex, and geography.


The patients were more likely than the controls to report a first-degree family history of meningioma (OR 4.4, 95% CI 1.6–11.5), and there was an even stronger association in younger cases. The patients were less likely than controls to report immune conditions including allergy (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.5–0.7) but were more likely to report a history of thyroid cancer (OR 4.7, 95% CI 1.02–21.5) or leukemia (OR 5.4, 95% CI 1.2–24.1) (most after radiotherapy). Among women, patients were more likely than controls to report hormonally related conditions—uterine fibroid tumors (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.5), endometriosis (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.5–2.1), and breast cancer (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.8–2.3).


The influence of genetics, the immune system, and radiation near the head on meningioma risk is suggested in the authors’ findings; the role of hormones is intriguing but requires further study.


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