A pooled analysis of cigarette smoking and risk of multiple myeloma from the international multiple myeloma consortium

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Mar;24(3):631-4. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1145. Epub 2014 Dec 23.


Background: Past investigations of cigarette smoking and multiple myeloma have been underpowered to detect moderate associations, particularly within subgroups. To clarify this association, we conducted a pooled analysis of nine case-control studies in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium, with individual-level questionnaire data on cigarette smoking history and other covariates.

Methods: Using a pooled population of 2,670 cases and 11,913 controls, we computed odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating smoking to multiple myeloma risk using unconditional logistic regression adjusting for gender, age group, race, education, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and study center.

Results: Neither ever smokers (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.87-1.05), current smokers (OR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.73-0.93), nor former smokers (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.92-1.14) had increased risks of multiple myeloma compared with never smokers. Analyses of smoking frequency, pack-years, and duration did not reveal significant or consistent patterns, and there was no significant effect modification by subgroups.

Conclusion: Findings from this large pooled analysis do not support the hypothesis of cigarette smoking as a causal factor for multiple myeloma.

Impact: Cigarette smoking is one of the most important risk factors for cancer, but the association with multiple myeloma was inconclusive. This study had excellent power to detect modest associations, and had individual-level data to evaluate confounding and effect modification by potentially important factors that were not evaluated in previous studies. Our findings confirm that smoking is not a risk factor for multiple myeloma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 24(3); 631-4. ©2014 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult