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Gastroenterology. 2010 Feb;138(2):541-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.09.059. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

History of peptic ulcer disease and pancreatic cancer risk in men.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Peptic ulcer disease has been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, but findings on this topic are inconsistent. We investigated the association between pancreatic cancer and the occurrence of gastric or duodenal ulcer in a large US cohort.


We analyzed data collected from 51,529 male health professionals in a prospective cohort study. History of peptic ulcer disease was assessed at baseline in 1986 and updated biennially thereafter. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for smoking, body mass index, diabetes, and physical activity.


During 18 years of follow-up evaluation, we observed 274 incident pancreatic cancer cases. Compared with those with report of no peptic ulcer disease, men with gastric ulcer had an increased risk of pancreatic cancer (RR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.13-2.97). Although the risk was highest for those with a diagnosis of gastric ulcer that was close in time to the cancer diagnosis (RR, 3.66; 95% CI, 1.45-9.24), the risk remained significantly increased 10-19 years after the gastric ulcer diagnosis (RR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.26-6.64). In contrast, duodenal ulcer was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.78-1.71).


Gastric ulcer increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas there does not appear to be an association between duodenal ulcers and pancreatic cancer.

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