Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between factors in metabolic syndrome (MetS; single and combined) and the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Methods: The Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer Project is a pooled cohort containing data on body mass index, blood pressure, and blood levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. During follow-up, 862 individuals were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to calculate relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals using the above-mentioned factors categorized into quintiles and transformed into z-scores. All z-scores were summarized and a second z-transformation creating a composite z-score for MetS was done. All risk estimates were calibrated to correct for a regression dilution bias.
Results: The trend over quintiles was positively associated with the risk of pancreatic cancer for mid-blood pressure (mid-BP) and glucose in men and for body mass index, mid-BP, and glucose in women. The z-score for the adjusted mid-BP (RR, 1.10; 1.01-1.20) and the calibrated z-score for glucose (RR, 1.37; 1.14-1.34) were positively associated with pancreatic cancer in men. In women, a positive association was found for calibrated z-scores for mid-BP (RR, 1.34; 1.08-1.66), for the calibrated z-score for glucose (RR, 1.98; 1.41-2.76), and for the composite z-score for MetS (RR, 1.58; 1.34-1.87).
Conclusion: Our study adds further evidence to a possible link between abnormal glucose metabolism and risk of pancreatic cancer.
Impact: To our knowledge, this is the first study on MetS and pancreatic cancer using prediagnostic measurements of the examined factors.