A prospective study of medical conditions, anthropometry, physical activity, and pancreatic cancer in male smokers (Finland)

Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Jun;13(5):417-26. doi: 10.1023/a:1015729615148.


Objective: To examine the association between several medical conditions, anthropometric measurements, occupational and leisure physical activity, and pancreatic cancer in a cohort of male Finnish smokers.

Methods: We performed a cohort analysis of the 172 subjects who developed pancreatic cancer between 1985 and 1997 (median 10.2 years follow-up) among the 29,048 male smokers, 50-69 years old, who had complete baseline data and participated in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: We observed positive associations between pancreatic cancer risk and self-reported history of diabetes mellitus (HR=2.02, 95% CI 1.17-3.50) and bronchial asthma (HR=2.16, 95% CI 1.17-3.98). Men having combined occupational and leisure activity greater than at sedentary levels had reduced risk for the cancer; for example those with moderate/heavy activity in both settings showed a HR of 0.42 (95% CI 0.22-0.83). There were no significant associations with other self-reported illnesses, total or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, height, weight, or body mass index.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that diabetes mellitus and bronchial asthma predict the subsequent risk of developing pancreatic cancer in male smokers, and that greater physical activity may reduce the risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Asthma / complications
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Exercise
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Risk Factors