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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 May;22(5):848-54. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0093. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Lifestyle and dietary factors in relation to risk of chronic myeloid leukemia in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.



Aside from exposure to ionizing radiation and benzene, little is known about lifestyle risk factors for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in the general population.


We examined the relation between lifestyle and dietary risk factors for CML in 493,188 participants (294,271 males and 198,917 females) aged 50 to 71 years who completed a baseline questionnaire in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study in 1995 to 1996. Over a median of 10.5 years of follow-up, 178 incident cases of CML (139 males and 39 females) were ascertained from state registries. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for exposures of interest, adjusting for potential confounding variables.


In multivariable analysis of all participants combined, female sex, years of education, and vigorous physical activity (HR for ≥3 times/week vs. <1 time/week 0.70; 95% CI, 0.49-0.99) were inversely associated with risk of CML, whereas smoking intensity (HR for smokers of ≥20 cigarettes per day vs. never smokers: 1.53; 95% CI, 1.03-2.27) and body mass (HR for BMI ≥ 30 vs. <25 kg/m(2) 1.46; 95% CI, 0.95-2.23) were associated with increased risk. A range of dietary factors was not associated with disease.


This study adds to the sparse information about lifestyle factors, which affect the risk of CML in the general population.


If these findings are confirmed, it would suggest that CML may be amenable to preventive strategies.

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