Central Obesity Predicts Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Mortality and Overall Obesity Predicts Leukemia Mortality in Adult Taiwanese

Journal Article

Da-Ming Chu, Mark L Wahlqvist*, Meei-Shyuan Lee, Hsing-Yi Chang
* MAI Emeritus Professor

Published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Oct 2011, Volume 30(5).
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SUMMARY: During 1997–2007 in Taiwan, in a large cohort of 383,956 subjects aged 19–98 years without any cancer history, the authors have evaluated whether body fat and its distribution is associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and leukemia mortalities. Participants were obtained through a health screening center and followed up for a median of 7.2 years. Based on World Health Organization criteria modified for Asia and Taiwan, BMI was classified to <18.5, 18.5–23.9, 24–26.9, and ≥27 kg/m2. Waist circumference ≥90 cm in men and ≥80 cm in women was defined as central obesity. Results showed that BMI was not associated with NHL deaths, although the trend was significant, but central obesity with adjustment was (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.87, 95%CI = 1.27–2.75) compared with non–centrally obese subjects. BMI, but not central obesity, was associated with leukemia mortality (HR = 1.93, 95% CI = 1.00–3.75). The authors concluded that an increased risk for NHL with increased abdominal fatness and more so with lower BMI is apparent in Taiwanese; this may indicate that metabolically localized and proinflammatory fat is important. For leukemia, where most is myeloid leukemia, increased general fatness is evidently a risk with Taiwanese ethnicity.