Adherence to the Western, Prudent, and Mediterranean dietary patterns and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the MCC-Spain study

Haematologica. 2018 Nov;103(11):1881-1888. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2018.192526. Epub 2018 Jun 28.


Diet is a modifiable risk factor for several neoplasms but evidence for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is sparse. Previous studies examining the association between single-food items and CLL risk have yielded mixed results, while few studies have been conducted on overall diet, reporting inconclusive findings. This study aimed to evaluate the association between adherence to three dietary patterns and CLL in the multicase-control study (MCC-Spain) study. Anthropometric, sociodemographic, medical and dietary information was collected for 369 CLL cases and 1605 controls. Three validated dietary patterns, Western, Prudent and Mediterranean, were reconstructed in the MCC-Spain data. The association between adherence to each dietary pattern and CLL was assessed, overall and by Rai stage, using mixed logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders. High adherence to a Western dietary pattern (i.e. high intake of high-fat dairy products, processed meat, refined grains, sweets, caloric drinks, and convenience food) was associated with CLL [ORQ4 vs. Q1=1.63 (95%CI 1.11; 2.39); P-trend=0.02; OR 1-SD increase=1.19 (95%CI: 1.03; 1.37)], independently of Rai stages. No differences in the association were observed according to sex, Body Mass Index, energy intake, tobacco, physical activity, working on a farm, or family history of hematologic malignancies. No associations were observed for Mediterranean and Prudent dietary patterns and CLL. This study provides the first evidence for an association between a Western dietary pattern and CLL, suggesting that a proportion of CLL cases could be prevented by modifying dietary habits. Further research, especially with a prospective design, is warranted to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean / adverse effects*
  • Diet, Western / adverse effects*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology