Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tall is a Risk Factor

BrooklynDodger(s) comment: There's a lot of literature that being big is associated with increased risks of cancer. No one knows why. The concluding sentence is pretty weak.

American Journal of Epidemiology 2009 170(3):297-307; doi:10.1093/aje/kwp12

Body Mass Index, Height, and Risk of Lymphatic Malignancies: A Prospective Cohort Study

Romana D. Pylypchuk, Leo J. Schouten, R. Alexandra Goldbohm, Harry C. Schouten and Piet A. van den Brandt

Correspondence to Dr. Leo J. Schouten, Department of Epidemiology, GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands (e-mail:

Received for publication December 1, 2008. Accepted for publication April 23, 2009.

The association among body mass index (BMI), height, and the risk of lymphatic malignancies was investigated in the Netherlands Cohort Study. The participants (n = 120,852), Dutch men and women aged 55–69 years, completed a self-administered questionnaire at baseline in 1986. After 13.3 years of follow-up, data on 1,042 lymphatic malignancy cases (including diffuse large-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, and other subtypes) and 4,588 subcohort members were available. Incidence rate ratios were estimated by using Cox regression models. BMI at baseline and BMI change since the age of 20 years were not associated with lymphatic malignancy risk. However, the rate ratio of lymphatic malignancies per 4-unit increase in BMI at 20 years of age was 1.13 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01, 1.25). The rate ratio of lymphatic malignancies per 5-cm increase in height was 1.08 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.15). For diffuse large-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the relative risks were 1.19 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.33), 1.15 (95% CI: 0.95, 1.40), and 1.09 (95% CI: 0.95, 1.26), respectively, for each 5-cm increase in height. The positive associations among BMI at 20 years of age, height, and the risk of lymphatic malignancies suggest that exposures during early life play a role in the etiology of lymphatic malignancies.

anthropometry; body height; body mass index; leukemia, lymphocytic, chronic, B-cell; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; lymphoproliferative disorders; multiple myeloma

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