Tobacco use, body mass index and the risk of malignant lymphomas--a nationwide cohort study in Sweden

Int J Cancer. 2006 May 1;118(9):2298-302. doi: 10.1002/ijc.21617.


In the search for risk factors involved in the etiology of lymphoproliferative malignancies there is still inconsistent evidence regarding effects of smoking tobacco, and the role of smokeless tobacco is poorly investigated. New evidence indicates that excess body weight increases the risk of NHL and HD. To determine if tobacco use of various forms and high Body Mass Index (BMI) affect the occurrence of these neoplasms, we conducted a prospective cohort study on over 330,000 Swedish construction workers included in the Construction Industry Working Environment and Health program. Information on smoking, snuff dipping, height and weight was gathered by self administered questionnaires together with personal interviews. Cancer incidence was ascertained through the year 2000 by record linkage to the nationwide Swedish Cancer Registry, Migration Registry and Cause of Death Registry. At the end of follow up, 1,309 subjects had been diagnosed with NHL (including chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and 205 with HD respectively. Age adjusted incidence rate ratios were computed using Cox proportional Hazard regression modeling. Smoking cigarette, pipe or cigar was not associated with NHL or HD. There was no evidence indicating a relation between quantity and duration of smoking and NHL or HD risk. No link was found between NHL and usage of smokeless tobacco. Having a BMI of 30 or higher did not convey excess risk of developing NHL or HD compared to normal weight (BMI 18.6-24.9). We conclude that tobacco smoking and high BMI do not entail an increased risk of NHL and HD. Our findings of a relation between the duration of snuff dipping and HD need further investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / epidemiology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Sweden / epidemiology