Objective. - To test whether high dietary intakes of fat, protein, and milk are associated with the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in older women. Design. - Prospective cohort study with a 7-year follow-up period. Setting. - General community. Participants. - Sample of 35 156 Iowa women aged 55 to 69 years with no prior history of cancer who returned the 1986 baseline questionnaire. Main Outcome Measure. - Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (104 incident cases). Main Results. - After controlling for age, marital status, residence, total energy intake, and transfusion history, the relative risks (RRs) for the highest tertile of intake compared with the lowest were 2.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-3.30; P for trend=.01) for animal fat, 1.69 (95% CI, 1.07-2.67; P for trend=.02) for saturated fat, and 1.90 (95% CI, 1.18-3.04; P for trend=.01) for monounsaturated fat, and there was no association with vegetable fat or polyunsaturated fat. Greater intake of animal protein (RR=1.52; 95% CI, 0.94-2.44; P for trend=.08), but not vegetable protein, was associated with elevated risk, and this was mainly explained by greater consumption of red meat (RR=1.98; 95% CI, 1.13-3.47; P for trend=.02) and hamburger in particular (RR=2.35; 95% CI, 1.23-4.48; P for trend=.02). Milk and dairy product consumption were not associated with elevated risk. There was also a decreased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with greater consumption of fruits (RR=0.64; 95% CI, 0.40-1.05; P for trend=.07). Conclusions. - A high-meat diet and a high intake of fat from animal sources is associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in older women.
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