(HealthDay News) — Higher body weight and taller stature during adolescence are associated with increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a study published in Cancer.

Merav Leiba, MD, from the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, and colleagues examined the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and height of adolescents with non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes. Health-related data were included for 2 352 988 adolescents, aged 16 to 19 years, who were examined between 1967 and 2011. To derive the non-Hodgkin lymphoma incidence up to December 31, 2012, data were linked to the Israel National Cancer Registry.

The researchers found that, compared with normal weight, adolescent overweight and obesity correlated with increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (hazard ratio [HR]=1.25). The association of height with non-Hodgkin lymphoma was graded, with a HR of 1.28 for the tallest adolescents (≥95th percentile) vs the 25th to <50th percentiles. 

The strongest associations for overweight/obesity were seen for marginal zone lymphoma, primary cutaneous lymphoma, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; the strongest associations for height were seen for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and primary cutaneous lymphoma.

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“The findings of this large cohort study add to the growing body of evidence showing that higher body weight and taller stature during adolescence are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and may modestly contribute to its increasing incidence,” the researchers wrote. “Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms linking anthropometric measures and non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk.”


  1. Leiba M, Leiba A, Keinan-Boker L, et al. Adolescent weight and height are predictors of specific non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes among a cohort of 2,352,988 individuals aged 16 to 19 years. Cancer. 2016. doi:10.1002/cncr.29792.