Background: Few studies have examined obesity and risk for multiple myeloma, and the results are inconsistent. Laboratory evidence suggests mechanisms through which obesity could influence carcinogenesis of this hematopoietic malignancy.
Methods: We examined the association between anthropometric characteristics and incident multiple myeloma in a prospective, population-based sample of 37,083 postmenopausal women. In 1986, the women completed a mailed questionnaire that included self-report of height and weight, and friend measurement of waist and hip circumferences. During 16 years of follow up, 95 cases of multiple myeloma were identified through linkage to the Iowa Cancer Registry.
Results: In an age-adjusted model, women in the highest category of several anthropometric measurements compared with the lowest category were at increased risk of developing multiple myeloma. For body mass index (kg/m), the rate ratio (95% confidence interval) was 1.5 (0.92-2.6); for weight, 1.9 (1.1-3.4); for waist circumference, 2.0 (1.1-3.5); and for hip circumference, 1.8 (1.0-3.0).
Conclusion: Greater adiposity may increase the risk of multiple myeloma.