BACKGROUND: The relation between vitamin D status and lymphoma risk is inconclusive. OBJECTIVE: We examined the association between prediagnostic plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and lymphoid cancer risk. DESIGN: We conducted a study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort of 1127 lymphoma cases and 1127 matched controls with a mean follow-up time of 7.1 y. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate multivariable-adjusted incidence rate ratios of lymphoma risk in relation to plasma 25(OH)D. Season-standardized and season-specific 25(OH)D quartiles were used. We also analyzed 25(OH)D as a continuous variable and used predefined cutoffs. RESULTS: No statistically significant association between plasma 25(OH)D and overall lymphoid cancer risk was observed. A positive association for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma was noted only in those with a diagnosis made during the first 2 y of follow-up (P-heterogeneity = 0.03), which suggests the possibility of reverse causality. Further analysis restricted to participants with ≥2 y of follow-up time showed a significant association between 25(OH)D and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (n = 161): adjusted incidence rate ratios were 0.40 (95% CI: 0.18, 0.90; P-trend = 0.05) and 0.31 (95% CI: 0.13, 0.76; P-trend = 0.03) for the top compared with the bottom season-standardized and season-specific quartiles, respectively. Data on dietary vitamin D intake provided further support for the observed association (incidence rate ratio: 0.33; 95% CI = 0.12, 0.89; P-trend = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings do not support a protective role of high 25(OH)D concentration in lymphoid cancers overall. However, they suggest that higher concentrations of 25(OH)D are associated with a reduced risk of CLL.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





827 - 838


Case-Control Studies, Chronic Disease, Cohort Studies, Diet, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Incidence, Leukemia, Lymphoid, Logistic Models, Lymphoma, Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin, Male, Middle Aged, Vitamin D