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Dietary fat intake and risk of pancreatic cancer in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • H. Arem
  • S.T. Mayne
  • J. Sampson
  • H. Risch
  • R. Stolzenberg-Solomon


Background: Some published studies on dietary fat and risk of pancreatic cancer suggest that dietary fat and specific fat sources may increase risk of pancreatic cancer. Methods: We examined the association between fat intake (measured by food frequency questionnaire) and pancreatic cancer risk among 111,416 participants in the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial using Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: There were 411 incident pancreatic cancer cases over the median 8.9 years of follow up. We observed an inverse association between saturated fat intake and pancreatic cancer risk comparing extreme quintiles (Hazard ratio (HR)=0.64, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.46-0.88), but the association became weaker and non-significant when excluding individuals with <4 years of follow up to assess reverse causation HR=0.88 (95% CI 0.58-1.33). Total fat intake showed a similar pattern of association, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intakes and analysis by animal or plant source showed no association with risk. Conclusion: Despite more cases and longer follow up than most previous studies, our results do not suggest that higher fat consumption increases risk of pancreatic cancer. Lower fat intake in cases prior to diagnosis may reflect early manifestations of the disease (e.g. dyspepsia), and avoidance of fat which can exacerbate symptoms.

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