Medical conditions and modifiable risk factors for myelodysplastic syndrome: A systematic review

Marina R. Sweeney, Katie M. Applebaum, Hannah Arem, Barbara H. Braffett, Jenny N. Poynter, Kim Robien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate medical conditions and modifiable risk factors for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) using the 2001 or 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic criteria. Methods: PubMed, MEDLINE, and Scopus databases were searched for studies published between January 2001 and August 2017. Study characteristics and findings were abstracted for each article. Results: Thirteen articles (4 cohort, 9 case-control) met the inclusion criteria. Smoking and alcohol use were each evaluated as potential MDS risk factors in four studies. Body mass index and anemia were each evaluated in two studies. Other potential risk factors evaluated in single studies included physical activity, dietary intake (tea, isoflavones, meat, fruit, or vegetables), history of allergies, autoimmune disorders and community-acquired infections, and use of antituberculosis drugs, traditional Chinese medicines, or hair dyes. Conclusions: Higher BMI, smoking, a history of autoimmune disorders, community-acquired infections, history of anemia, and use of antituberculosis drugs were associated with higher risk of MDS. Vigorous physical activity and tea and dietary isoflavone intake were associated with lower MDS risk. These findings suggest no association between the other factors and risk of MDS. Impact: Research on risk factors for MDS is limited, and further research in larger studies is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1502-1517
Number of pages16
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Association for Cancer Research.


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