Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and obesity: A pooled analysis from the InterLymph consortium

Eleanor V. Willett, Lindsay M. Morton, Patricia Hartge, Nikolaus Becker, Leslie Bernstein, Paolo Boffetta, Paige Bracci, James Cerhan, Brian C.H. Chiu, Pierluigi Cocco, Luigino Dal Maso, Scott Davis, Silvia De Sanjose, Karin Ekstrom Smedby, Maria Grazia Ennas, Lenka Foretova, Elizabeth A. Holly, Carlo La Vecchia, Keitaro Matsuo, Marc MaynadieMads Melbye, Eva Negri, Alexandra Nieters, Richard Severson, Susan L. Slager, John J. Spinelli, Anthony Staines, Renato Talamini, Martine Vornanen, Dennis D. Weisenburger, Eve Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2062-2070
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Body mass index
  • Epidemiology
  • Height
  • Lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and obesity: A pooled analysis from the InterLymph consortium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this