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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Sep;19(9):2307-17. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0234.

Metabolic factors and the risk of pancreatic cancer: a prospective analysis of almost 580,000 men and women in the Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project.

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Department of Surgery, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.



The aim of this study was to investigate the association between factors in metabolic syndrome (MetS; single and combined) and the risk of pancreatic cancer.


The Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project is a pooled cohort containing data on body mass index, blood pressure, and blood levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. During follow-up, 862 individuals were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to calculate relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals using the above-mentioned factors categorized into quintiles and transformed into z-scores. All z-scores were summarized and a second z-transformation creating a composite z-score for MetS was done. All risk estimates were calibrated to correct for a regression dilution bias.


The trend over quintiles was positively associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer for mid-blood pressure (mid-BP) and glucose in men and for body mass index, mid-BP, and glucose in women. The z-score for the adjusted mid-BP (RR, 1.10; 1.01-1.20) and the calibrated z-score for glucose (RR, 1.37; 1.14-1.34) were positively associated with pancreatic cancer in men. In women, a positive association was found for calibrated z-scores for mid-BP (RR, 1.34; 1.08-1.66), for the calibrated z-score for glucose (RR, 1.98; 1.41-2.76), and for the composite z-score for MetS (RR, 1.58; 1.34-1.87).


Our study adds further evidence to a possible link between abnormal glucose metabolism and risk of pancreatic cancer.


To our knowledge, this is the first study on MetS and pancreatic cancer using prediagnostic measurements of the examined factors.

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