Young Adult and Usual Adult Body Mass Index and Multiple Myeloma Risk: A Pooled Analysis in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (IMMC)

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Jun;26(6):876-885. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0762-T. Epub 2017 Feb 21.


Background: Multiple myeloma risk increases with higher adult body mass index (BMI). Emerging evidence also supports an association of young adult BMI with multiple myeloma. We undertook a pooled analysis of eight case-control studies to further evaluate anthropometric multiple myeloma risk factors, including young adult BMI.Methods: We conducted multivariable logistic regression analysis of usual adult anthropometric measures of 2,318 multiple myeloma cases and 9,609 controls, and of young adult BMI (age 25 or 30 years) for 1,164 cases and 3,629 controls.Results: In the pooled sample, multiple myeloma risk was positively associated with usual adult BMI; risk increased 9% per 5-kg/m2 increase in BMI [OR, 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.04-1.14; P = 0.007]. We observed significant heterogeneity by study design (P = 0.04), noting the BMI-multiple myeloma association only for population-based studies (Ptrend = 0.0003). Young adult BMI was also positively associated with multiple myeloma (per 5-kg/m2; OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3; P = 0.0002). Furthermore, we observed strong evidence of interaction between younger and usual adult BMI (Pinteraction <0.0001); we noted statistically significant associations with multiple myeloma for persons overweight (25-<30 kg/m2) or obese (30+ kg/m2) in both younger and usual adulthood (vs. individuals consistently <25 kg/m2), but not for those overweight or obese at only one time period.Conclusions: BMI-associated increases in multiple myeloma risk were highest for individuals who were overweight or obese throughout adulthood.Impact: These findings provide the strongest evidence to date that earlier and later adult BMI may increase multiple myeloma risk and suggest that healthy BMI maintenance throughout life may confer an added benefit of multiple myeloma prevention. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(6); 876-85. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / etiology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Risk Factors