During 1984-88 a population-based case-control study was carried out in The Netherlands, in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, to examine the possible relationship between aspects of medical history and exocrine pancreatic carcinoma in 176 cases and 487 controls. About 58% of patients were interviewed directly. In women, a significant, positive dose-response effect of height was seen (p-value trend less than 0.005). Compared with ages 14 or more, women with an early age at menarche, i.e., 11 years or less, had a 3-fold increase in risk (15 cases vs. 23 controls, OR 3.07, 95% CI 1.35 to 7.00). Other apsects of the reproductive history were not related to risk. In brief, the results of the present study support the hypothesis that, in women, early menarche and greater adult stature may be early predictors of the development of cancer of the pancreas later in life.