Diet may influence risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

March 24, 2004 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Diet may influence risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

New study findings suggest that diet can influence the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in women. Compared with women who had the lowest levels of animal protein and saturated fat in their diet, those with the highest levels had an increased risk of NHL, according to a study from Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. The increased risk was 70% for animal fat and 90% for saturated fat.

The study involved 601 NHL patients and 717 healthy "controls," and was conducted between 1995 and 2000. In addition to the increased risk observed in those with the highest levels of animal protein and saturated fat intake, a 40% reduced risk was observed among those with high levels of polyunsaturated fat in their diet. No association for NHL risk was found for vegetable protein and monounsaturated fat.

The researchers also report that the risk of NHL was increased among those with higher dietary levels of retinol, dairy products, and eggs. Higher intakes of dietary fibre and several fruits and vegetables were associated with a reduced risk of NHL.

Because little is known about the causes of NHL, which is on the rise worldwide, the researchers suggest that further investigation on the relationship between NHL and dietary factors is warranted.

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