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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Apr;13(4):532-7.

Dietary fish intake and risk of leukaemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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School of Population Health M435, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.


This study aimed to determine whether fish intake was protective against leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and if our previous finding of a protective effect of fish-related occupations on the risk of these diseases was due to dietary intake of fish. We used data from a population-based case-control study undertaken in Canada in 1994-1998. Dietary information was available for 919 leukemia cases, 287 myeloma cases, 1418 NHL cases, and 4202 controls. The risk of each of the three cancers was determined using multiple logistic regression analysis according to quartiles of weekly fresh fish intake, percentage of total energy intake from fresh fish, and percentage of total fat intake from fresh fish. After adjusting for age, sex, smoking, BMI, and proxy status, people who consumed greater proportions of their total energy intake from fresh fish had a significantly lower risk of each of the three types of cancer, and there was a significant dose-response for risk of leukemia and NHL. Those in the highest quartile for percentage of fat intake from fish were at lowest risk: leukemia odds ratio (OR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58-0.89; multiple myeloma OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.45-0.90; NHL OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.60-0.85; and all LH cancers combined OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.61-0.81. The protective effect previously observed for working with fish on the risk of leukemia and lymphoma was independent of fish intake. These findings suggest that a diet high in fish may be protective against lymphohematopoietic cancers and confirm the reduced risk among fish workers.

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