Aim: To investigate risk factors for pancreatic cancer and establish a risk model for Han population.
Methods: This population-based case-control study was carried out from January 2002 to April 2004. One hundred and nineteen pancreatic cancer patients and 238 healthy people completed the questionnaire which was used for risk factor analysis. Logistic regression analysis was used to calculate odds ratio (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (Cls) and beta value, which were further used to establish the risk model.
Results: According to the study, people who have smoked more than 17 pack-years had a higher risk to develop pancreatic cancer compared to non-smokers or light smokers (not more than 17 pack-years) (OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.11-3.49, P = 0.017). More importantly, heavy smokers in men had increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer (OR 2.11; 95%CI 1.18-3.78, P = 0.012) than women. Heavy alcohol drinkers (>20 cup-years) had increased risk for pancreatic cancer (OR 3.68; 95%CI 1.60-8.44). Daily diet with high meat intake was also linked to pancreatic cancer. Moreover, 18.5% of the pancreatic cancer patients had diabetes mellitus compared to the control group of 5.8% (P = 0.0003). Typical symptoms of pancreatic cancer were anorexia, upper abdominal pain, bloating, jaundice and weight loss. Each risk factor was assigned a value to represent its importance associated with pancreatic cancer. Subsequently by adding all the points together, a risk scoring model was established with a value higher than 45 as being at risk to develop pancreatic cancer.
Conclusion: Smoking, drinking, high meat diet and diabetes are major risk factors for pancreatic cancer. A risk model for pancreatic cancer in Chinese Han population has been established with an 88.9% sensitivity and a 97.6% specificity.