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.