Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 1681–1692 | Cite as

Meat intake and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Briseis Aschebrook-KilfoyEmail author
  • Nicholas J. Ollberding
  • Carol Kolar
  • Terence A. Lawson
  • Sonali M. Smith
  • Dennis D. Weisenburger
  • Brian C.-H. Chiu
Original Paper


We conducted a population-based, case–control study to test the hypothesis that consumption of meat and meat-related mutagens increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and whether the associations are modified by N-acetyltransferase (NAT) 1 and 2. Participants (336 cases and 460 controls) completed a 117-item food frequency questionnaire. The risk of NHL was associated with a higher intake of red meat (OR = 1.5; CI, 1.1–2.2), total fat (OR = 1.4; CI, 1.0–2.1), and oleic acid (OR = 1.5; CI, 1.0–2.2). NHL risk was also associated with a higher intake of very well-done pork (OR = 2.5; 95 % CI, 1.4–4.3) and the meat-related mutagen MeIQx (OR = 1.6; 95 % CI, 1.1–2.3). Analyses of the major NHL histologic subtypes showed a positive association between diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and higher intake of red meat (OR = 2.1; 95 % CI, 1.1–3.9) and the association was largely due to meat-related mutagens as a positive association was observed for higher intakes of both MeIQx (OR = 2.4; 95 % CI, 1.2–4.6) and DiMeIQx (OR = 1.9; 95 % CI, 1.0–3.5). Although the OR for follicular lymphoma (FL) was also increased with a higher red meat intake (OR = 1.9; 95 % CI, 1.1–3.3), the association appeared to be due to increased oleic acid (OR = 1.7; 95 % CI: 0.9–3.1). We found no evidence that polymorphisms in NAT1 or NAT2 modify the association between NHL and meat-related mutagens. Our results provide further evidence that red meat consumption is associated with an increase in NHL risk, and new evidence that the specific components of meat, namely fat and meat-related mutagens, may be impacting NHL subtype risk differently.


Diet Meat Dietary carcinogens Genetic variants Case–control study Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 



This research was supported by research grant 99B083 from the American Institute for Cancer Research and in part by grants CA94770 and CA100555 from the National Cancer Institute. The authors thank Mr. Martin Bast of the Nebraska Lymphoma Study Group for coordinating the case identification and for obtaining the physician consents of the study cases.

Supplementary material

10552_2012_47_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicholas J. Ollberding
    • 1
  • Carol Kolar
    • 2
  • Terence A. Lawson
    • 2
  • Sonali M. Smith
    • 3
  • Dennis D. Weisenburger
    • 4
  • Brian C.-H. Chiu
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Health StudiesUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Eppley Cancer CenterUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Pathology and MicrobiologyUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA
  5. 5.University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer CenterChicagoUSA

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