De novo acute myeloid leukemia risk factors

A Texas case-control study




Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is comprised of several bone marrow-based cancers and is the most common type of leukemia in the United States. The etiology of AML is not well understood. A case-control study was conducted at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to investigate associations between lifestyle characteristics and the risk of AML in Texas.


This study included 638 adult patients with de novo AML (cases) and a group of 636 matched controls. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect demographic and occupational data. The distribution of cases by World Health Organization (WHO) subtype was 71 patients (11%) with recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities (AML-RCA), 134 patients (21%) with multilineage dysplasia (AML-MD), and 389 patients (61%) with AML not otherwise categorized (AML-NOC). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed among all AML cases and among both sexes and each WHO subgroup.


Among men, heavy smoking (≥30 pack-years; odds ratio [OR], 1.86) and occupational solvent exposure at low levels (OR, 2.87) or moderate/high levels (OR, 4.13) statistically significantly increased the risk of AML. Among women, obesity (OR, 1.62) and solvent exposure to low levels (OR, 2.73) or moderate/high levels (OR, 3.90) increased the risk of AML. Across WHO subtypes, obesity was associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of AML-RCA (OR, 3.15), whereas solvent exposure increased the risk in all subtypes at low levels (AML-RCA: OR, 4.11; AML-MD: OR, 2.54) and moderate/high levels (AML-RCA: OR, 5.13; AML-MD: OR, 3.02). A joint effect between smoking and solvent exposure was observed, and the highest risk was observed among smokers who had solvent exposure (OR, 4.51).


The current results suggested that several factors play a role in AML predisposition with possible joint effects. Risk profiles for AML differed by sex and WHO subtype. Cancer 2012. © 2012 American Cancer Society.