Background The number of patients aged 80 years or older with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is increasing, and the incidence rate of the disease in this population group reaches up to 20%. The risk of infection is higher in older patients than in other patients. Although hypnotic drugs are frequently detected as potentially inappropriate medications, it is unclear whether hypnotic drugs affect the occurrence of infection during chemotherapy. Here, we investigated whether the use of hypnotic drugs is associated with infection during first-line chemotherapy in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) aged 80 years or older. Methods Japanese patients aged 80 years or older with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who had received first-line chemotherapy at Fujita Health University Hospital from January 2005 to March 2020 were enrolled in this retrospective cohort study. The primary study outcome was the identification of the risk factor for infection during first-line chemotherapy. Results This study included 65 patients received first-line chemotherapy. The proportion of patients with National Comprehensive Cancer Network-international prognostic index ≥ 6 was higher in the infection group than in the non-infection group. The relative dose intensity of each anticancer drug (cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, and vincristine) and dose of prednisolone did not significantly differ between the two groups. Multivariate analysis showed that the use of benzodiazepines was a risk factor for infection (odds ratio, 4.131 [95% confidence interval: 1.225-13.94], P = 0.022). Conclusion DLBCL patients using benzodiazepines should be monitored for infection symptoms during chemotherapy.
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