Family and personal medical history and risk of meningioma

Clinical article

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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.

Abbreviation used in this paper: NF = neurofibromatosis.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Elizabeth B. Claus, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, P.O. Box 208034, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8034. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online July 22, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.6.JNS11129.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.




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