Smoking is a risk factor for development of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma in Japanese human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 carriers

Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Sep;27(9):1059-66. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0784-8. Epub 2016 Jul 13.


Background and purpose: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1); no effective methods have yet been identified to prevent development of ATLL in carriers of HTLV-1. This study investigated the association between cigarette smoking and the risk of ATLL development among Japanese carriers of HTLV-1.

Methods: This study examined the association between smoking and development of ATLL in a cohort of 1,332 Japanese HTLV-1 carriers aged 40-69 years free of ATLL at baseline from two different HTLV-1-endemic areas of Japan. Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for sex, geographic area, age at baseline, and alcohol drinking were used to estimate the effect of cigarette smoking on ATLL development.

Results: Between 1993 and 2012, 25 new ATLL cases were identified among these subjects. The overall crude incidence rate for ATLL was 1.08 per 1,000 person-years among HTLV-1 carriers and was higher among male carriers than among female carriers (2.21 vs. 0.74). The risk of ATLL development increased significantly with increasing numbers of cigarettes smoked per day (hazard ratio for every increment of 20 cigarettes, 2.03; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.13-3.66 overall, 2.07 (95 % CI 1.13-3.73) in male carriers).

Conclusions: Cigarette smoking may influence ATLL development among HTLV-1 carriers in Japan.

Keywords: ATLL; Cigarette smoking; HTLV-1; Japanese.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*