No association between cigarette smoking and incidence of plasma cell myeloma: a meta-analysis of 17 observational studies

Am J Hematol. 2012 Jul;87(7):729-31. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23220. Epub 2012 May 6.


Plasma cell myeloma (PCM) is a lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by the malignant growth of monoclonal plasma cells within the bone marrow. Although risk factors for the development of PCM have been identified, the etiology on the majority of patients with PCM remains unclear. Cigarette smoking has been postulated as a potential risk factor for lymphoid malignancies; however, the association with PCM is inconclusive. We have carried out a meta-analysis of observational studies to assess the relationship, if any, between cigarette smoking and PCM. A literature search through December 2011 rendered 4 prospective cohort and 13 case–control studies evaluating such association. Our categorical meta-analysis showed that there is no association between ever, current, and former smokers and PCM.This lack of association was maintained when analyzing by study design, study quality, and geographical area of report. Similarly, meta regression analysis showed no association with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. In conclusion, our meta-analysis shows that there is no relationship between cigarette smoking and an increased incidence of PCM. Future studies should focus on other potential risk factors for PCM.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Multiple Myeloma / epidemiology
  • Multiple Myeloma / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*