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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Jul;14(7):1791-6.

Cigarette smoking and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma--a population-based case-control study.

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Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark.



Epidemiologic evidence of an association between tobacco smoking and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been conflicting. This may reflect that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma comprises several distinct disease entities with different etiologies, as some studies have indicated an association between smoking and follicular lymphoma.


To investigate the association between cigarette smoking and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk, overall and by subtype.


As part of a nationwide Danish-Swedish population-based case-control study, we interviewed 3,055 incident non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients and 3,187 population controls. All lymphomas were uniformly classified according to the WHO classification. We used unconditional logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association between cigarette smoking and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Cigarette smoking was not associated with the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma overall (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.87-1.08) nor with the major subgroups such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.79-1.10), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.72-1.02), or follicular lymphoma (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.85-1.24). Female smokers were at a marginally increased risk of follicular lymphoma (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.04-1.92). Men who had ever smoked had a significantly increased risk of T-cell lymphoma (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.11-2.51). No dose-response association with cigarette smoking could be established for any lymphoma subgroup.


We found little evidence of an association between cigarette smoking and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk overall. Although increased risks of follicular lymphoma in female smokers and of T-cell lymphoma in male smokers were suggested, no dose-response relationship was observed, leaving limited support for causality.

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