Tobacco and alcohol consumption and the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Oct;15(8):771-80. doi: 10.1023/B:CACO.0000043427.77739.60.


Objective: The aim was to test whether non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is associated with smoking or alcohol.

Methods: A case-control study recruited NHL cases aged 18-64 in parts of England between 1998 and 2001. One control was matched to each case on sex, date of birth and area of residence. Self-reported histories of tobacco and alcohol consumption were collected during face-to-face interviews.

Results: Among 700 cases and 915 controls, no association of smoking with the risk of NHL was observed [odds ratio (OR) = 1.04, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85-1.28]. Risks were not raised with age started smoking, number of years smoked, and number of years stopped smoking. Compared with persons who drank alcohol once or twice a week, neither abstainers (OR = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.64-1.67), nor consumers of alcohol one to five times a year (OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 0.95-1.93), one to two times a month (OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 0.87-1.65), three to four times a week (OR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.62-1.10), or most days (OR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.70-1.25) increased their risk of developing NHL. Average daily volume or high occasional alcohol consumption were not associated with NHL.

Conclusions: NHL was not associated with smoking or alcohol, but collaborative studies could further investigate the risks of rarer WHO subtypes following these exposures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*