November 25, 2011
1 min read

Folate intake not linked to pancreatic cancer risk

Bao Y. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011:103:epub ahead of print.

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A review of published literature has found there is no link between intake of folate and the risk for pancreatic cancer.

Because pancreatic cancer is still among the most deadly cancers, researchers are striving to identify modifiable risk factors that could reduce the disease’s incidence. Prior research has been inconsistent and inconclusive about the role that folate intake may play in the risk for pancreatic cancer.

In the pooled analysis, researchers analyzed primary data from 14 prospective cohort studies. The studies included more than 300,000 men and more than half a million women. In all of the studies, folate intake was collected at baseline.

Among the population of all of the studies - followed for between 7 and 20 years - 2,195 cases of pancreatic cancer occurred. The researchers of the pooled analysis found no association between folate intake and risk for pancreatic cancer. When comparing the highest quintile of folate intake with the lowest quintile, the RR of pancreatic cancer was 1.06.

Although this study had a large sample size, with a large number of pancreatic cancer cases, it also had some weaknesses. Among the study’s limitations are the fact that folate was examined only at baseline, not taking into account any dietary changes that may have occurred during the study period. In addition, the role that folate intake during childhood may play was not examined.


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