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Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Jun;16(5):489-500.

Lifestyle factors and the risk of adult leukemia in Canada.

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  • 1Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec (Québec), Canada.



To evaluate the impact of active smoking, obesity, and dietary intakes on the risk of adult leukemia.


We analysed data obtained from a population-based case-control study conducted in eight Canadian provinces. Risk estimates were generated by applying multivariate logistic regression methods to 1068 incident histologically confirmed leukemia cases and 5039 controls aged 20-74.


We found a statistically significant increased risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with active smoking, with a clear dose-response relationship and an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.1-2.0) for heavy smokers reporting more than 20 pack-years of cigarette smoking. We also observed positive associations with the highest body mass index (BMI) for AML, chronic myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphoid leukemia with a significant dose-response relationship. No association with leukemia was observed for the intake of fruits and vegetables, and the effect of active smoking on adult leukemia risk was not modified by fruits and/or vegetables consumption or obesity. However, the positive risk for AML associated with active smoking disappeared among subjects with high BMI (> or =30 kg/m2).


Our study contributes to the accumulating evidence linking AML and active smoking, and provides some evidence that obesity increases the risk of most of the adult leukemia subtypes.

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