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Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Oct;20(8):1261-9. doi: 10.1007/s10552-009-9339-6. Epub 2009 Apr 25.

Family history of various cancers and pancreatic cancer mortality in a large cohort.

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Department of Epidemiology, Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, American Cancer Society, National Home Office, 250 Williams Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.


A family history of pancreatic cancer is associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer, but uncertainty remains about the magnitude of this association, whether it varies by age or smoking and whether a family history of other cancers may also be associated with increased risk. We examined family history of 14 cancers and pancreatic cancer mortality among ~1.1 million men and women in Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II). CPS-II participants completed a questionnaire at enrollment in 1982. During follow-up through 2006, there were 7,306 pancreatic cancer deaths. A family history of pancreatic cancer in a parent or sibling was associated with pancreatic cancer mortality [multivariable adjusted rate ratio (RR) = 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43-1.94]. This association was stronger among participants aged under 60 (RR = 2.89, 95% CI 1.67-5.02) than among participants aged 60 or older (RR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.37-1.88). Weaker associations were observed for family history of stomach cancer (RR = 1.23, 95% CI 1.11-1.37), liver cancer (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.10-1.43), and colorectal cancer (RR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.01-1.23). Results from this large prospective study indicate family history of pancreatic cancer is associated with a moderate increase in risk of pancreatic cancer, and also identify associations with the family history of certain other cancers which may be useful in generating hypotheses about shared risk factors.

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