Linoleic acid, vitamin D and other nutrient intakes in the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: An Italian case-control study

J. Polesel, R. Talamini, M. Montella, M. Parpinel, L. Dal Maso, A. Crispo, M. Crovatto, M. Spina, C. La Vecchia, S. Franceschi

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Background: Dietary habits have been suggested as a factor related to the increase of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) incidence in western populations, but the role of individual nutrients is still unclear. Patients and methods: A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Italy, 1999-2002. Cases: 190 incident, histologically-confirmed NHL cases aged 18-84 years. Controls: 484 subjects admitted to hospital for acute, non-neoplastic diseases unrelated to diet. Dietary habits were assessed by a validated food-frequency questionnaire; nutrient intakes were computed using the Italian food composition database. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for tertiles of intake of nutrient were computed using the energy-adjusted residual models. Results: Inverse association emerged for polyunsaturated fatty acids (OR-0.6; 95% CI: 0.4-0.9), linoleic acid (OR-0.6; 95% CI: 0.4-0.9), and vitamin D (OR-0.6; 95% CI: 0.4-0.9). The protective effect for linoleic acid (OR-0.3; 95% CI: 0.2-0.7) and vitamin D (OR-0.4; 95% CI: 0.2-0.9) was stronger in women; no differences emerged according to age. Linoleic acid was inversely related to follicular and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; the protective effect of vitamin D emerged most clearly for follicular subtypes. Conclusions: Our study suggests that a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk of NHL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-718
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Linoleic acid
  • Macronutrient
  • Micronutrient
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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