Consumption of meat and dairy and lymphoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

Sabine Rohrmann, Jakob Linseisen, Marianne Uhre Jakobsen, Kim Overvad, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Anne Tjonneland, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Rudolf Kaaks, Nikolaus Becker, Manuela Bergmann, Heiner Boeing, Kay Tee Khaw, Nicholas J. Wareham, Timothy J. Key, Ruth Travis, Vassiliki Benetou, Androniki Naska, Antonia Trichopoulou, Valeria Pala, Rosario TuminoGiovanna Masala, Amalia Mattiello, Magritt Brustad, Eiliv Lund, Guri Skeie, H. Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita, Petra H.M. Peeters, Roel C.H. Vermeulen, Paula Jakszyn, Miren Dorronsoro, Aurelio Barricarte, Maria Jose Tormo, Esther Molina, Marcial Argüelles, Beatrice Melin, Ulrika Ericson, Jonas Manjer, Sabina Rinaldi, Nadia Slimani, Paolo Boffetta, Anne Claire Vergnaud, Aneire Khan, Teresa Norat, Paolo Vineis

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The consumption of meat and other foods of animal origin is a risk factor for several types of cancer, but the results for lymphomas are inconclusive. Therefore, we examined these associations among 411,097 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. During a median follow-up of 8.5 years, 1,334 lymphomas (1,267 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 67 Hodgkin lymphomas) were identified. Consumption of red and processed meat, poultry, milk and dairy products was assessed by dietary questionnaires. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to evaluate the association of the consumption of these food groups with lymphoma risk. Overall, the consumption of foods of animal origin was not associated with an increased risk of NHLS or HL, but the associations with specific subgroups of NHL entities were noted. A high intake of processed meat was associated with an increased risk of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (BCLL) [relative risk (RR) per 50 g intake = 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.63], but a decreased risk of follicular lymphomas (FL) (RR = 0.58; CI 0.38-0.89). A high intake of poultry was related to an increased risk of B-cell lymphomas (RR = 1.22; CI 1.05-1.42 per 10 g intake), FL (RR = 1.65; CI 1.18-2.32) and BCLL (RR = 1.54; CI 1.18-2.01) in the continuous models. In conclusion, no consistent associations between red and processed meat consumption and lymphoma risk were observed, but we found that the consumption of poultry was related to an increased risk of B-cell lymphomas. Chance is a plausible explanation of the observed associations, which need to be confirmed in further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-634
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cohort study
  • dairy consumption
  • lymhomas
  • meat consumption


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