Meat and fat intake and pancreatic cancer risk in the Netherlands Cohort Study

Int J Cancer. 2009 Sep 1;125(5):1118-26. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24387.


Meat contains numerous carcinogens, such as heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and N-nitroso compounds, which can be derived either from natural food or during the process of food preparation. These carcinogens may increase pancreatic cancer risk. Furthermore, studies in animals showed that polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, increase pancreatic cancer risk. We examined prospectively the relation between pancreatic cancer risk and intake of fresh meat, processed meat, fish, eggs, total fat, and different types of fat. The Netherlands Cohort Study consisted of 120,852 men and women who completed a baseline questionnaire in 1986. After 13.3 years of follow-up, 350 pancreatic cancer cases (66% microscopically confirmed) were available for analysis. A validated 150-item food-frequency questionnaire was used to calculate intake of fresh meat, processed meat, fish, eggs, fat and different types of fat. No association was found when examining the association between intake of fresh meat, other types of meat, fish, eggs, dietary intake of total fat and different types of fat and risk of pancreatic cancer. It is important for future studies to investigate the relation between different meat-cooking methods and pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fats