Intake of vegetables, fruits, carotenoids and vitamins C and E and pancreatic cancer risk in The Netherlands Cohort Study

Int J Cancer. 2012 Jan 1;130(1):147-58. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25989. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Epidemiological data investigating the relation between fruit and vegetable consumption and pancreatic cancer risk have shown inconsistent results so far. Most case-control studies observed an inverse association with total fruit and vegetable consumption, whereas results from most cohort studies have largely been null. We examined prospectively the relation between pancreatic cancer risk and intake of vegetables, fruits, carotenoids and vitamins C and E. The Netherlands Cohort Study consisted of 120,852 men and women who completed a questionnaire at baseline in 1986, including a validated 150-item food-frequency questionnaire. After 16.3 years of follow-up, 423 cases were available for analysis. Total vegetable and total fruit consumption were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk (highest vs. lowest quintile, multivariable-adjusted hazard rate ratio = 1.23, 95% confidence interval: 0.86-1.75 and multivariable-adjusted hazard rate ratio = 0.90, 95% confidence interval: 0.66-1.24, respectively). Also, for cooked vegetables, raw vegetables and vegetables and fruits classified into subgroups, no associations were observed. Dietary carotenoids, vitamin C and E intake and supplements containing vitamin C or E were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk. The results were not modified by sex, smoking status and body mass index. In conclusion, we observed no association between a high consumption of vegetables and fruits and pancreatic cancer risk in this large cohort study, which is in agreement with previous prospective studies. Furthermore, we observed no association between the intake of carotenoids, vitamins and vitamin supplements and pancreatic cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Carotenoids*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids
  • Ascorbic Acid