Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and obesity: a pooled analysis from the InterLymph Consortium.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer, Volume 122, Issue 9, p.2062-70 (2008)


2008, Adult, Aged, Body Height, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, Female, Humans, International Cooperation, Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse, Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity, Odds Ratio, Public Health Sciences Division, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors


Nutritional status is known to alter immune function, a suspected risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). To investigate whether long-term over, or under, nutrition is associated with NHL, self-reported anthropometric data on weight and height from over 10,000 cases of NHL and 16,000 controls were pooled across 18 case-control studies identified through the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium. Study-specific odds ratios (OR) were estimated using logistic regression and combined using a random-effects model. Severe obesity, defined as BMI of 40 kg m(-2) or more, was not associated with NHL overall (pooled OR = 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70-1.41) or the majority of NHL subtypes. An excess was however observed for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (pooled OR = 1.80, 95% CI 1.24-2.62), although not all study-specific ORs were raised. Among the overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg m(-2)) and obese (BMI 30-39.9 kg m(-2)), associations were elevated in some studies and decreased in others, while no association was observed among the underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg m(-2)). There was little suggestion of increasing ORs for NHL or its subtypes with every 5 kg m(-2) rise in BMI above 18.5 kg m(-2). BMI components height and weight were also examined, and the tallest men, but not women, were at marginally increased risk (pooled OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.06-1.34). In summary, whilst we conclude that there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that obesity is a determinant of all types of NHL combined, the association between severe obesity and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma may warrant further investigation.