June 30, 2009
1 min read

Dietary fat increased risk for pancreatic cancer

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Elevated intake of fat of animal origin, particularly red meat and dairy, was associated with increased risk for pancreatic cancer, according to the findings from a prospective study.

The study included 308,736 men and 216,737 women aged 50 to 71 from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Participants completed a 124-item food frequency questionnaire during 1995 to 1996. During that time, the incident rate for exocrine pancreatic cancer was 45.0 per 100,000 person-years for men and 34.5 per 100,000 person-years for women.

“Men in the highest quintile of fat consumption had a 53% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer than men in the lowest quintile and women in the highest quintile had a 23% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer than women in the lowest quintile,” researchers said.

After adjustment, men and women in the highest quintile of percent energy from fat had a higher risk for pancreatic cancer linked to total fat consumption (46.8 vs. 33.2 cases per 100,000 person-years; HR=1.23; 95% CI, 1.03-1.46) than those in the lowest quintile.

Similar associations were observed with saturated fat consumption (51.5 vs. 33.1; HR=1.36; 95% CI, 1.14-1.62) and monounsaturated fat consumption (46.2 vs. 32.9; HR=1.22; 95% CI, 1.02-1.46). No association was observed with polyunsaturated fat.

Overall, there was a 1.43 HR for the association between saturated fat intake of animal origin and pancreatic cancer risk (95% CI, 1.20-1.70). Pancreatic cancer risk was linked to saturated fat intake from red meat (HR=1.27; 95 % CI, 1.07-1.52) and dairy products (HR=1.19; 95% CI, 1.01-1.42).

Thiebaut ACM. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009;101:1001-1011.

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