Younger and usual adult body mass index (BMI) were associated with an increased risk for developing multiple myeloma, a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown.1

Previous research has demonstrated that higher adult BMI raises the risk of multiple myeloma and emerging evidence supports an association between young adult BMI and multiple myeloma.

Therefore, researchers further evaluated anthropometric myeloma risk factors, including young adult BMI, by conducting a pooled analysis of 2318 multiple myeloma cases and 9609 controls with usual adult anthropometric measurements and of 1164 cases and 3629 controls with young adult BMI measurements.

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Investigators found that each 5-kg/m2 increase in usual adult BMI increased the risk of multiple myeloma by 9% (odds ratio [OR], 1.09; 95% CI, 1.04-1.14; P =.007). In addition, each 5-kg/m2 increase in young adult BMI was associated with a 20% increased risk for developing multiple myeloma (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3; P =.0002).

Investigators also observed statistically significant associations with multiple myeloma for persons who were overweight or obese in both younger and usual adulthood compared with persons with a consistent BMI less than 25 kg/m2.

However, people who were overweight or obese at only 1 time period did not have a significantly higher risk of multiple myeloma than those with a consistently normal BMI, suggesting that those who were overweight or obese throughout adulthood have the highest risk of myeloma.

The findings suggest that maintenance of a healthy BMI throughout a person’s life may confer an additional benefit with regard to multiple myeloma prevention.


1. Birmann BM, Andreotti G, De Roos AJ, et al. Young adult and usual adult body mass index and multiple myeloma risk: a pooled analysis in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (IMMC). Cancer Epidemiol Biomarker Prev. 2017 Feb 21. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0762-T [Epub ahead of print]