Prediagnosis dietary pattern and survival in patients with multiple myeloma

Int J Cancer. 2020 Oct 1;147(7):1823-1830. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32928. Epub 2020 Feb 28.


Inflammation and endogenous growth factors are important in multiple myeloma (MM) pathogenesis. Although diets that modulate these biologic pathways may influence MM patient survival, studies have not examined the association of dietary patterns with MM survival. We conducted pooled prospective survival analyses of 423 MM patients from the Nurses' Health Study (1986-2016) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1988-2016) using Cox regression models. We used data from repeated food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) to compute dietary patterns as of the last prediagnosis FFQ, including the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI)-2010, alternate Mediterranean Diet, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, Prudent, Western and empirical dietary inflammatory patterns and empirical dietary indices for insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. During follow-up, we documented 295 MM-related deaths among 345 total deaths. MM-specific mortality was 15-24% lower per one standard deviation (SD) increase (e.g., toward healthier habits) in favorable dietary pattern scores. For example, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] and 95% confidence interval [CI] per 1-SD increase in AHEI-2010 score were 0.76, 0.67-0.87 (p < 0.001). In contrast, MM-specific mortality was 16-24% higher per 1-SD increase (e.g., toward less healthy habits) in "unhealthy" diet scores; for example, the multivariable-adjusted HR, 95% CI per 1-SD increase in Western pattern score were 1.24, 1.07-1.44 (p = 0.005). Associations were similar for all-cause mortality. In conclusion, our consistent findings for multiple dietary patterns provide the first evidence that MM patients with healthier prediagnosis dietary habits may have longer survival than those with less healthy diets.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Western diet; dietary pattern; empirical dietary index; healthy eating index; multiple myeloma; prudent diet; survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality*
  • Nurses
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis