Body composition measurements and risk of hematological malignancies: A population-based cohort study during 20 years of followup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


High body mass index (BMI) is associated with development of hematological malignancies (HMs). However, although BMI is a well-established measurement of excess weight, it does not fully reflect body composition and can sometimes misclassify individuals. This study aimed at investigating what body composition measurements had highest association with development of HM. Body composition measurements on 27,557 individuals recorded by healthcare professionals as part of the Malmö Diet and Cancer study conducted in Sweden between 1991–1996 were matched with data from national registers on cancer incidence and causes of death. Cox regression models adjusted for age and sex were used to test the association between one standard deviation increments in body composition measurements and risk of HM. During a median follow-up of 20 years, 564 persons developed an HM. Several body composition measurements were associated with risk of developing an HM, but the strongest association was found for multiple myeloma (MM). Waist circumference (HR 1.31, p = 0.04) and waist-hip ratio (HR 1.61, p = 0.05) had higher risk estimates than BMI (HR 1.18, p = 0.07) for MM. In conclusion, our study shows that measurements of abdominal adiposity better predict the risk of developing HM, particularly MM, compared to BMI.


  • Hannes Hagström
  • Anna Andreasson
  • Axel C. Carlsson
  • Mats Jerkeman
  • Mattias Carlsten
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Macquarie University, Sydney
  • Uppsala University
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0202651
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 23
Publication categoryResearch