Dietary vitamin D and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: the multiethnic cohort

Br J Nutr. 2010 Feb;103(4):581-4. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992029. Epub 2009 Sep 28.


The present study explored the association between dietary vitamin D and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) risk. The multiethnic cohort (MEC) includes more than 215 000 Caucasians, African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans and Latinos, aged 45-75. After 10 years of follow-up, 939 incident NHL cases were identified. Risk was estimated using proportional hazards' models adjusted for possible confounders. Vitamin D intake was not associated with NHL risk in the entire cohort (P(trend) = 0.72 for men and P(trend) = 0.83 for women), but significantly lowered disease risk in African American women (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.50, 95 % CI: 0.28, 0.90, P(trend) = 0.03) and was borderline protective in African American men (HR = 0.68; 95 % CI: 0.39, 1.19; P(trend) = 0.31) when the highest to the lowest tertile was compared. In NHL subtype analyses, a 19, 36 and 32 % lowered risk, although not significant, was observed for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma and small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia in women, respectively. High dietary intake of vitamin D did not show a protective effect against NHL within the MEC except among African Americans, possibly because vitamin D production due to sun exposure is limited in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / ethnology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / ethnology


  • Vitamin D