Red blood cell membrane trans fatty acid levels and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A prospective nested case-control study

Andres V. Ardisson Korat, Yu Han Chiu, Kimberly A. Bertrand, Shumin Zhang, Mara M. Epstein, Bernard A. Rosner, Stephanie Chiuve, Hannia Campos, Edward L. Giovannucci, Jorge E. Chavarro, Brenda M. Birmann

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5 Scopus citations


Background: Trans fatty acid (TFA) intake persists in much of the world, posing ongoing threats to public health that warrant further elucidation. Published evidence suggests a positive association of self-reported TFA intake with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. Objectives: To confirm those reports, we conducted a prospective study of prediagnosis RBC membrane TFA levels and risk of NHL and common NHL histologic subtypes. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study in Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study participants with archived RBC specimens and no history of cancer at blood draw (1989-1090 and 1994-1995, respectively). We confirmed 583 incident NHL cases (332 women and 251 men) and individually matched 583 controls on cohort (sex), age, race, and blood draw date/time. We analyzed RBC membrane TFA using GLC (in 2013-2014) and expressed individual TFA levels as a percentage of total fatty acids. We used unconditional logistic regression adjusted for the matching factors to estimate ORs and 95% CIs for overall NHL risk per 1 SD increase in TFA level and assessed histologic subtype-specific associations with multivariable polytomous logistic regression. Results: Total and individual TFA levels were not associated with risk of all NHL or most subtypes. We observed a positive association of total TFA levels with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) risk [n = 98 cases; OR (95% CI) per 1 SD increase: 1.30 (1.05, 1.61); P = 0.015], driven by trans 18:1n-9(ω-9)/elaidic acid [OR (95% CI): 1.34 (1.08, 1.66); P = 0.007], trans 18:1n-7/vaccenic acid [OR (95% CI): 1.28 (1.04, 1.58); P = 0.023], and trans 18:2n-6t,t [OR (95% CI): 1.26 (1.01, 1.57); P = 0.037]. Conclusions: Our findings extended evidence for TFA intake and DLBCL risk but not for other NHL subtypes. Reduced TFA consumption through dietary choices or health policy measures may support prevention of DLBCL, an aggressive NHL subtype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1576-1583
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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