Meat, fish, poultry and egg consumption in relation to risk of pancreatic cancer: a prospective study

Int J Cancer. 2006 Jun 1;118(11):2866-70. doi: 10.1002/ijc.21732.


High meat consumption has been associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer in several, although not all, case-control studies. However, prospective data on this relationship are sparse, and the results have been inconsistent. We prospectively evaluated meat, fish, poultry, and egg consumption in relation to pancreatic cancer incidence in a population-based cohort of 61,433 Swedish women. Diet was assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline (1987-1990) and again in 1997. Pancreatic cancers were ascertained through linkage to the Swedish Cancer Register. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate multivariate hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI). During the 941,218 person-years of follow-up, from 1987 through 2004, 172 incident cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed. Long-term red meat consumption (using data from both dietary questionnaires) was positively associated with risk of pancreatic cancer (p-trend = 0.01), whereas long-term poultry consumption was inversely (p-trend = 0.04) associated with risk. The multivariate hazard ratios for the highest versus the lowest category of consumption were 1.73 (95% CI = 0.99-2.98) for red meat and 0.44 (95% CI = 0.20-0.97) for poultry. There were no significant associations with processed meat, fish or egg consumption. Findings from this prospective study suggest that substituting poultry for red meat might reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet*
  • Eggs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Meat*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data