A prospective analysis of red blood cell polyunsaturated fatty acids levels and risk of non- Hodgkin lymphoma

Andres Ardisson Korat, ScD, MS
Department of Medicine
Division of Channing Division of Network Medicine
Poster Overview

Background: Case-control study findings suggest that dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are associated with decreased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but prospective studies have not observed significant associations. To further elucidate this, we evaluated the association of PUFA levels in red blood cell (RBC) membranes with risk of NHL and common subtypes.

Methods: We conducted a prospective nested case-control study in Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study participants with archived RBC samples. We confirmed 583 new NHL cases and matched individually to 583 controls by cohort (sex), age, race and blood draw date/time. We analyzed RBC membrane PUFA using gas-liquid chromatography. We used logistic regression adjusting for matching factors to estimate the associations between RBC membrane PUFA levels and risk of all NHL. We assessed subtype-specific associations using multivariate polytomous logistic regression.

Results: RBC PUFA levels were not associated with risk of NHL or most histologic subtypes. However, cis 20:2n-6 (eicosadienoic acid, EDA) was associated with a 35% higher risk of follicular lymphoma (FL) per one standard deviation increase.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that PUFA are not associated with NHL development. The biological role of EDA in FL is unknown, and this finding requires confirmation in other cohorts.

Scientific Abstract

Background: Case-control and prospective studies report divergent associations of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. To elucidate this, we evaluated pre-diagnosis red blood cell (RBC) membrane PUFA levels and risk of NHL and common histologic subtypes.

Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study in Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study participants with archived RBC samples. We confirmed 583 incident NHL cases and individually matched to 583 controls by cohort (sex), age, race and blood draw date/time. We analyzed RBC membrane PUFA using gas-liquid chromatography. We used unconditional logistic regression adjusting for matching factors to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for all NHL risk per one standard deviation (SD) increase in PUFA levels. We assessed subtype-specific associations using multivariate polytomous logistic regression.

Results: RBC PUFA levels were not associated with risk of NHL or most histologic subtypes. However, cis 20:2n-6 (eicosadienoic acid, EDA) was positively associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) risk (OR [95% CI] per 1 SD increase: 1.35 [1.03, 1.77]).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that PUFA are not risk factors in NHL etiology. The biological role of EDA in FL is unknown, and this finding may be due to chance.

Clinical Implications
Our findings suggest that polyunsaturated fatty acids are not risk factors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma or most histologic subtypes. Our results require confirmation in other studies and the biological role of eicosadienoic acid in follicular lymphoma needs to be elucidated.
Research Areas
Authors
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
Principal Investigator
Brenda M. Birmann, ScD

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