Individuals with a family history of pancreatic cancer have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Quantification of this risk provides a rational basis for cancer risk counseling and for screening for early pancreatic cancer. In a prospective registry-based study, we estimated the risk of pancreatic cancer in individuals with a family history of pancreatic cancer. Standardized incidence ratios were calculated by comparing the number of incident pancreatic cancers observed with those expected using Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) rates. Familial pancreatic cancer (FPC) kindreds were defined as kindreds having at least one pair of first-degree relatives with pancreatic cancer, and sporadic pancreatic cancer (SPC) kindreds as families without such an affected pair. Nineteen incident pancreatic cancers developed among 5,179 individuals from 838 kindreds (at baseline, 370 FPC kindreds and 468 SPC kindreds). Of these 5,179 individuals, 3,957 had at least one first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer and contributed 10,538 person-years of follow-up. In this group, the observed-to-expected rate of pancreatic cancer was significantly elevated in members of FPC kindreds [9.0; 95% confidence interval (CI), 4.5-16.1], but not in the SPC kindreds (1.8; 95% CI., 0.22-6.4). This risk in FPC kindreds was elevated in individuals with three (32.0; 95% CI, 10.2-74.7), two (6.4; CI, 1.8-16.4), or one (4.6; CI, 0.5-16.4) first-degree relative(s) with pancreatic cancer. Risk was not increased among 369 spouses and other genetically unrelated relatives. Risk was higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. Individuals with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer have a significantly increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.