(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Different components of dietary red meat are associated with different subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), suggests a population-based case-control study published in Cancer Causes and Control.

“Our results provide further evidence that red meat consumption is associated with an increase in NHL risk, and new evidence that the specific components of meat, namely fat and meat-related mutagens, may be impacting NHL subtype risk differently,” wrote lead author Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD, MPH, and coauthors at the University of Chicago’s Department of Health Studies.

A total of 336 patients with NHL and 460 controls completed a 117-item dietary frequency questionnaire. Analysis of questionnaire data revealed that NHL risk was modestly but significantly associated with higher dietary frequencies of red meat consumption (OR-1.5; 95% confidence intervals, 1.1-2.2), total dietary fat (OR=1.4; CI,1.0-2.1), and oleic acid (OR=1.5; CI,1.0-2.2).

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“NHL risk was also associated with a higher intake of very well-done pork (OR=2.5; 95% CI, 1.4-4.3) and the meat-related mutagen MeIQx (OR=1.6; 95% CI,1.1-2.3),” the authors reported.

When major NHL histologic subtypes were analyzed separately, the risk of diffuse large-B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was found to be associated with higher red meat intake and meat-related mutagens (OR=2.1;CI,1.1-3.9 and OR=2.4;CI,1.2-4.6, respectively). An association between follicular lymphoma (FL) risk and higher red meat intake (OR=1.9;CI,1.1-3.3), in contrast, appeared to be caused by higher dietary oleic acid, the authors wrote.

The authors reported finding no evidence that NAT1 or NAT2 polymorphisms of the N-acetyltransferase gene modulated the associations between diet and NHL risk. These alleles, which produce potentially-genotoxic enzymes, had been hypothesized to interact with dietary mutagens to increase NHL risk.