Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 1141–1151 | Cite as

Diet and risk of adult leukemia: a multicenter case–control study in China

  • Ping Liu
  • C. D’Arcy J. Holman
  • Jie Jin
  • Min ZhangEmail author
Original paper



Epidemiologic studies on diet and leukemia risk have shown inconsistent results. This study examined the associations between dietary factors and the risk of adult leukemia in Chinese populations.


A multicenter case–control study was conducted in southeast and northeast China between 2008 and 2013. It included 442 incident cases with hematologically confirmed leukemia and 442 controls, individually match to cases by gender, birth quinquennium, and study site. Information on diet was sought from face-to-face interviews using a validated and reliable 103-item food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by conditional logistic regression.


Vegetables intake was associated with decreased risk of adult leukemia, with a significant dose–response relationship and adjusted OR of 0.30 (95 % CI 0.18–0.50) for the highest versus the lowest quartiles intake. Compared with non-consumers, the adjusted OR was 0.51 (95 % CI 0.29–0.93) for those who consumed milk at the highest tertile. Intakes of fruits, red meat, poultry, and fish were not associated with the risk. Dietary nutrients, including dietary fiber, carotenoids, vitamins B1, B2, and C, niacin, and folate, were significantly associated with reduced risks. Elevated risk was related to dietary intake animal fat and dietary habits with frequent intakes of fat, deep-fried, and smoked foods ( p for trend <0.05).


Our findings suggest that diets rich in vegetables and adequate amount of milk reduce the risk of adult leukemia, whereas diets preferring fat, deep-fried, and smoked foods increase the risk in Chinese populations.


Diet Foods Nutrients Adult leukemia Case–control 



The authors thank the study participants and staff from the participating hospitals for their support. The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) Project Grant (ID 572542). The first author was supported by the Scholarship for International Research Fees and the University Postgraduate Award of The University of Western Australia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Population HealthThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Hematology, The First Affiliated HospitalZhejiang University College of MedicineHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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