Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. It is the fifth most common cause of cancer, and the most common hematologic malignancy in the United States.
In this study, information from 1,286 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients was collected from 1998 to 2000. Patients were identified from population-based cancer registries in Michigan, Iowa, California, and Washington, and they were interviewed shortly after diagnosis. Participants were asked to report their height and weight the year before they were diagnosed, and half of the participants also were asked information about use of alcohol and smoking history.
Through 2007, 442 (34 percent) patients had died, including 144 of 420 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 93 of 328 of patients with follicular lymphoma, the two most common non-Hodgkin's lymphoma subtypes.
Of the 471 patients who provided information about smoking history, 34 percent were former smokers and 19 percent were current smokers at the time of diagnosis. Researchers calculated that both former and current smoking in these patients was associated with an approximately 50 percent higher risk of death. Poorer survival also was linked to longer smoking duration and greater numbers of cigarettes smoked per day.
But there was a piece of good news. "It is important to note that patients who had quit smoking 20 years or more before diagnosis had no higher risk of death than patients who had never smoked," Dr. Cerhan says.
Of the 458 patients with data on alcohol use, 49 percent consumed alcohol one year before diagnosis, and the median intake was 43.1 grams a week (about 3.3 cans of beer, 4.6 glasses of wine,
|Contact: Karl Oestreich|