Medical history, lifestyle, family history, and occupational risk factors for follicular lymphoma: The interlymph non-hodgkin lymphoma subtypes project

Martha S. Linet, Claire M. Vajdic, Lindsay M. Morton, Anneclaire J. De Roos, Christine F. Skibola, Paolo Boffetta, James R. Cerhan, Christopher R. Flowers, Silvia De Sanjosé, Alain Monnereau, Pierluigi Cocco, Jennifer L. Kelly, Alexandra G. Smith, Dennis D. Weisenburger, Christina A. Clarke, Aaron Blair, Leslie Bernstein, Tongzhang Zheng, Lucia Miligi, Jacqueline ClavelYolanda Benavente, Brian C.H. Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: Follicular lymphoma (FL) has been linked with cigarette smoking and, inconsistently, with other risk factors. Methods: We assessed associations of medical, hormonal, family history, lifestyle, and occupational factors with FL risk in 3530 cases and 22 639 controls from 19 case-control studies in the InterLymph consortium. Age-, race/ethnicity-, sex- and study-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression. Results: Most risk factors that were evaluated showed no association, except for a few modest or sex-specific relationships. FL risk was increased in persons: with a first-degree relative with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (OR = 1.99; 95% CI = 1.55 to 2.54); with greater body mass index as a young adult (OR = 1.15; 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.27 per 5 kg/ m2 increase); who worked as spray painters (OR = 2.66; 95% CI = 1.36 to 5.24); and among women with Sjögren syndrome (OR = 3.37; 95% CI = 1.23 to 9.19). Lower FL risks were observed in persons: with asthma, hay fever, and food allergy (ORs = 0.79-0.85); blood transfusions (OR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.68 to 0.89); high recreational sun exposure (OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.65 to 0.86, fourth vs first quartile); who worked as bakers or millers (OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.28 to 0.93) or university/higher education teachers (OR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.41 to 0.83). Elevated risks specific to women included current and longer duration of cigarette use, whereas reduced risks included current alcohol use, hay fever, and food allergies. Other factors, including other autoimmune diseases, eczema, hepatitis C virus seropositivity, hormonal drugs, hair dye use, sun exposure, and farming, were not associated with FL risk. Conclusions: The few relationships observed provide clues suggesting a multifactorial etiology of FL but are limited in the extent to which they explain FL occurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-40
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute - Monographs
Issue number48
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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