Teenager’s Weight, Height May Increase Risk Of Developing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Overweight teenagers and those taller than average compared to their peers could be at an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), according to new research published in the journal Cancer.

The sixth most diagnosed cancer in the United States, researchers believe that rising obesity rates could explain this trend. Because they also wanted to see if being tall played a role in developing cancer, the researchers examined the association of NHL, body mass index and height by looking at the health records of two million-plus adolescents ages 16 to 19.

The results of the study revealed that overweight and obese teenagers were at a 25 percent higher risk for NHL compared to peers of a normal weight. When it came to height, shorter adolescents revealed a 25 percent decreased risk of NHL. The tallest people in the study showed a 28 percent increase in risk compared to peers considered to be of average height.


Researchers believe that height and poor nutritional habits during childhood influence inflammatory molecules and growth factors that may increase development of NHL.

“Obesity and overweight during adolescence are risk factors for future non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” said Dr. Merav Leiba, lead author of the study. “It is important to be aware that overweight and obesity are not risk factors only for diabetes and cardiovascular disease but also for lymphomas.”

The researchers stressed that additional studies are needed to further determine the reasons height and weight in teenagers appears to influence the risk of developing NHL.

Source: Lymphoma News Today

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