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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Sep;14(9):2093-7.

Vegetable and fruit intake and pancreatic cancer in a population-based case-control study in the San Francisco bay area.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, 94118-1944, USA.


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most devastating and rapidly fatal cancers, yet little is known about the primary cause and prevention of this disease. We conducted a population-based case-control study to investigate the association between vegetables and fruits and pancreatic cancer. Between 1995 and 1999, 532 cases and 1,701 age- and sex-matched controls completed direct interviews using a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. No proxy interviews were conducted. We observed inverse associations between consumption of total and specific vegetables and fruits and the risk of pancreatic cancer. The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for the highest versus the lowest quartile of total vegetable intake was 0.45 (0.32-0.62), trend P < 0.0001; and for total fruits and fruit juice was 0.72 (0.54-0.98), trend P = 0.06. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the highest versus the lowest quartile of specific vegetables and fruits were: 0.63 (0.47-0.83) for dark leafy vegetables, 0.76 (0.56-1.0) for cruciferous vegetables, 0.59 (0.43-0.81) for yellow vegetables, 0.56 (0.41-0.76) for carrots, 0.51 (0.38-0.70) for beans, 0.46 (0.33-0.63) for onions and garlic, and 0.78 (0.58-1.0) for citrus fruits and juice. Compared with less than five servings per day of total vegetables and fruits combined, the risk of pancreatic cancer was 0.49 (0.36-0.68) for more than nine servings per day. These results suggest that increasing vegetable and fruit consumption, already recommended for the prevention of several other chronic diseases, may impart some protection against developing pancreatic cancer.

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