Dietary pattern and risk of hodgkin lymphoma in a population-based case-control study

Mara M. Epstein, Ellen T. Chang, Yawei Zhang, Teresa T. Fung, Julie L. Batista, Richard F. Ambinder, Tongzhang Zheng, Nancy E. Mueller, Brenda M. Birmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) has few known modifiable risk factors, and the relationship between diet and cHL risk is unclear. We performed the first investigation of an association between dietary pattern and cHL risk in 435 cHL cases and 563 population-based controls from Massachusetts and Connecticut (1997-2000) who completed baseline diet questionnaires. We identified 4 major dietary patterns ("vegetable," "high meat," "fruit/low-fat dairy," "desserts/sweets") using principal components analysis. We computed multivariable odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations of dietary pattern score (quartiles) with younger-adult (age <50 years), older-adult (age ≥50 years), and overall cHL risk. Secondary analyses examined associations by histological subtype and tumor Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) status. A diet high in desserts/sweets was associated with younger-adult (odds ratio(quartile 4 vs. quartile 1) = 1.60, 95% confidence interval: 1.05, 2.45; Ptrend = 0.008) and EBV-negative, younger-adult (odds ratio = 2.11, 95% confidence interval: 1.31, 3.41; Ptrend = 0.007) cHL risk. A high meat diet was associated with older-adult (odds ratio = 3.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 10.91; Ptrend = 0.04) and EBV-negative, older-adult (odds ratio = 4.64, 95% confidence interval: 1.03, 20.86; Ptrend = 0.04) cHL risk. Other dietary patterns were not clearly associated with cHL. We report the first evidence for a role of dietary pattern in cHL etiology. Diets featuring high intake of meat or desserts and sweets may increase cHL risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • case-control study
  • diet
  • principal components analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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