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Br J Haematol. 2019 Apr 11. doi: 10.1111/bjh.15904. [Epub ahead of print]

Anthropometric factors and risk of myeloid leukaemias and myelodysplastic syndromes: a prospective study and meta-analysis.

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Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, USA.


There is insufficient evidence linking excess body weight to risk of myeloid malignancies. We investigated this association using data from the Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II), and a meta-analysis of published cohort studies. Among 152 090 CPS-II participants, 387 acute myeloid leukaemias (AML), 100 chronic myeloid leukaemias (CML) and 170 MDS were identified over 21 years of follow-up. In CPS-II, body mass index (BMI) was weakly associated with risk of CML (hazard ratio [HR] = 1·04, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0·99-1·09 per 1 unit increase in BMI), AML (HR = 1·01, 95% CI: 0·98-1·03) and MDS (HR = 1·03, 95% CI: 0·99-1·07). After controlling for other anthropometric factors, no clear association was observed for height, BMI at age 18 years or weight change. In the meta-analysis (n = 7117 myeloid leukaemias), BMI 25-29·9 kg/m2 (HRpooled  = 1·36, 95% CI: 1·12-1·59) and BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (HRpooled  = 1·43, 95% CI: 1·18-1·69) were associated with higher risk of myeloid leukaemia overall, compared to a BMI <25 kg/m2 . Likewise, BMI ≥25 kg/m2 was positively associated with both AML and CML risk individually in the meta-analysis. These results underscore the need for large studies to detect associations with rare cancers, and show a modest, but positive association between excess body weight and myeloid malignancy risk.


body mass index; haematological malignancies; myelodysplastic syndromes; myeloid leukaemia; obesity


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