Healthy lifestyle and clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential: Results from the women’s health initiative

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Heart Association








Body mass index; Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential; Diet; Lifestyle; Physical activity; Smoking


BACKGROUND: Presence of clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is associated with a higher risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality. The relationship between a healthy lifestyle and CHIP is unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: This analysis included 8709 postmenopausal women (mean age, 66.5 years) enrolled in the WHI (Women’s Health Initiative), free of cancer or cardiovascular disease, with deep-coverage whole genome sequencing data available. Information on lifestyle factors (body mass index, smoking, physical activity, and diet quality) was obtained, and a healthy lifestyle score was created on the basis of healthy criteria met (0 point [least healthy] to 4 points [most healthy]). CHIP was derived on the basis of a prespecified list of leukemogenic driver mutations. The prevalence of CHIP was 8.6%. A higher healthy lifestyle score was not associated with CHIP (multivariable-adjusted odds ratio [OR] [95% CI], 0.99 [0.80–1.23] and 1.13 [0.93–1.37]) for the upper (3 or 4 points) and middle category (2 points), respectively, versus referent (0 or 1 point). Across score components, a normal and overweight body mass index compared with obese was significantly associated with a lower odds for CHIP (OR, 0.71 [95% CI, 0.57–0.88] and 0.83 [95% CI, 0.68–1.01], respectively; P-trend 0.0015). Having never smoked compared with being a current smoker tended to be associated with lower odds for CHIP. CONCLUSIONS: A healthy lifestyle, based on a composite score, was not related to CHIP among postmenopausal women. However, across individual lifestyle factors, having a normal body mass index was strongly associated with a lower prevalence of CHIP. These findings support the idea that certain healthy lifestyle factors are associated with a lower frequency of CHIP.