Personal use of hair dye and the risk of certain subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Yawei Zhang, Silvia De Sanjose, Paige M. Bracci, Lindsay M. Morton, Rong Wang, Paul Brennan, Patricia Hartge, Paolo Boffetta, Nikolaus Becker, Marc Maynadie, Lenka Foretova, Pierluigi Cocco, Anthony Staines, Theodore Holford, Elizabeth A. Holly, Alexandra Nieters, Yolanda Benavente, Leslie Bernstein, Shelia Hoar Zahm, Tongzhang Zheng

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87 Scopus citations


Personal use of hair dye has been inconsistently linked to risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), perhaps because of small samples or a lack of detailed information on personal hair-dye use in previous studies. This study included 4,461 NHL cases and 5,799 controls from the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium 1988-2003. Increased risk of NHL (odds ratio (OR) = 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 1.4) associated with hair-dye use was observed among women who began using hair dye before 1980. Analyses by NHL subtype showed increased risk for follicular lymphoma (FL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) but not for other NHL subtypes. The increased risks of FL (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.9) and CLL/SLL (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.0) were mainly observed among women who started using hair dyes before 1980. For women who began using hair dye in 1980 or afterward, increased FL risk was limited to users of dark-colored dyes (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.0). These results indicate that personal hair-dye use may play a role in risks of FL and CLL/SLL in women who started use before 1980 and that increased risk of FL among women who started use during or after 1980 cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1331
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Case-control studies
  • Hair dyes
  • Lymphoma, non-Hodgkin


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