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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Jan 17;99(2):171-5.

A prospective study of periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer in US male health professionals.

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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge 920, 677 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Two previous cohort studies reported positive associations between tooth loss or periodontitis and pancreatic cancer risk. Data on periodontal disease were obtained at baseline and every other year thereafter in a cohort of 51,529 male health professionals aged 40-75 years. A total of 216 patients were diagnosed with incident pancreatic cancer during 16 years of follow-up. Multivariable relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models controlling for potential confounders, including detailed smoking history. All statistical tests were two-sided. Compared with no periodontal disease, history of periodontal disease was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk (overall, multivariable RR = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.19 to 2.26; P = .002; crude incidence rates: 61 versus 25 per 100,000 person-years; among never smokers, multivariable RR = 2.09, 95% CI = 1.18 to 3.71; P = .01; crude incidence rates: 61 versus 19 per 100,000 person-years). In contrast, baseline number of natural teeth and cumulative tooth loss during follow-up were not strongly associated with pancreatic cancer. The association between periodontal disease and increased risk of pancreatic cancer may occur through plausible biologic mechanisms, but confirmation of this association is necessary.

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