Follicular lymphoma (FL) is an indolent malignancy of germinal center B cells with varied incidence across racial groups and geographic regions. Improvements in the classification of non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes provide an opportunity to explore associations between environmental exposures and FL incidence. Our paper found that aspects of Western lifestyle including sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and diets high in meat and milk are associated with an increased risk of FL. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin D, and certain antioxidants are inversely associated with FL risk. A medical history of Sjogren's syndrome, influenza vaccination, and heart disease may be associated with FL incidence. Associations between FL and exposure to pesticides, industrial solvents, hair dyes, and alcohol/tobacco were inconsistent. Genetic risk factors include variants at the 6p21.32 region of the MHC II locus, polymorphisms of the DNA repair gene XRCC3, and UV exposure in individuals with certain polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor. Increasing our understanding of risk factors for FL must involve integrating epidemiological studies of genetics and exposures to allow for the examination of risk factors and interactions between genes and environment.
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