Epidemiologic studies of pancreatic cancer risk have reported null or nonsignificant positive associations for obesity, while associations for height have been null. Waist and hip circumference have been evaluated infrequently. A pooled analysis of 14 cohort studies on 846,340 individuals was conducted; 2,135 individuals were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during follow-up. Study-specific relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by Cox proportional hazards models, and then pooled using a random effects model. Compared to individuals with a body mass index (BMI) at baseline between 21-22.9 kg/m(2) , pancreatic cancer risk was 47% higher (95%CI:23-75%) among obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2) ) individuals. A positive association was observed for BMI in early adulthood (pooled multivariate [MV]RR = 1.30, 95%CI = 1.09-1.56 comparing BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2) to a BMI between 21 and 22.9 kg/m(2) ). Compared to individuals who were not overweight in early adulthood (BMI < 25 kg/m(2) ) and not obese at baseline (BMI < 30 kg/m(2) ), pancreatic cancer risk was 54% higher (95%CI = 24-93%) for those who were overweight in early adulthood and obese at baseline. We observed a 40% higher risk among individuals who had gained BMI ≥ 10 kg/m(2) between BMI at baseline and younger ages compared to individuals whose BMI remained stable. Results were either similar or slightly stronger among never smokers. A positive association was observed between waist to hip ratio (WHR) and pancreatic cancer risk (pooled MVRR = 1.35 comparing the highest versus lowest quartile, 95%CI = 1.03-1.78). BMI and WHR were positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Maintaining normal body weight may offer a feasible approach to reducing morbidity and mortality from pancreatic cancer.
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