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Cancer Causes Control. 2001 May;12(4):325-34.

Smoking and hematolymphopoietic malignancies.

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  • 1Epidemiology Unit of National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa, Italy.



Tobacco use is the most prominent cause of respiratory cancers. Little is known, however, about the influence of smoking on hematolymphopoietic malignancies. To evaluate this relation, a population-based case-control study was carried out in 12 areas of Italy.


Detailed interviews on tobacco smoking habits were administered to 1450 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), 365 Hodgkin's disease (HD), 270 multiple myeloma (MM), and 649 leukemia (LEU) patients occurring from 1990 to 1993, and 1779 population controls.


We found a slightly increased risk for NHL in smokers (odds ratio 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.0-1.4 for ever smokers), but a consistent positive association was shown only for follicular NHL. In this subtype, a significant excess risk was observed for ever versus never smokers, after adjustment for gender, age, geographic residence, education, and respondent (OR = 1.8, 95%, CI 1.3-2.7), with a positive exposure-response gradient for smoking duration (p < 0.01). The risk for follicular NHL was significantly elevated only among women, with ever smokers showing OR = 2.3 (CI 1.4-3.8), while for men we found OR = 1.3 (CI 0.69-2.3). No major differences were shown according to age. Female subjects also showed significant positive exposure-response trends for duration.


Cigarette smoking could be a risk factor for follicular NHL among women. For HD, MM, or LEU, no clear association was observed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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