(HealthDay News) — Nitrite consumption is associated with an increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), according to a meta-analysis published online Jan. 17 in Scientific Reports.

Mengxia Yu, from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and colleagues examined the association between nitrite or nitrate consumption and risk for NHL in a meta-analysis. Studies presenting risk estimates across categories of exposure were included in a dose-response analysis.

The researchers found that nitrite consumption was associated with a significantly increased risk for NHL (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 1.65), while nitrate was not (OR, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.94 to 1.10). No evidence of significant publication bias was seen. In a dose-response analysis, the risk for NHL increased for each additional microgram of nitrite consumed per day (OR, 1.26; 95 percent CI, 1.09 to 1.42). Data from high-quality studies indicated that nitrite consumption was associated with carcinogenicity leading to NHL (OR, 1.44; 95 percent CI, 1.17 to 1.77) and with development of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR, 1.55; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07 to 2.26); associations were not seen for other subtypes. A higher risk for NHL was found for women (OR, 1.50; 95 percent CI, 1.15 to 1.95) and high levels of nitrite intake (OR, 1.64; 95 percent CI, 1.28 to 2.09).

“In the future, to acknowledge our conclusions and to ensure precautions against NHL, additional and more stringent systematic studies are required,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text