We assessed the relation between metabolic syndrome (MetS), its components, and pancreatic cancer risk in an Italian case-control study and performed a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies published up to February 2011. The case-control study included 326 patients with incident pancreatic cancer and 652 controls admitted to the same hospitals for acute, non-neoplastic conditions. MetS was defined as having at least 3 conditions among diabetes, drug-treated hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and body mass index at least 25 kg/m(2) at age 30 years. We computed multivariate odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from logistic regression models adjusted for tobacco smoking, education, and other sociodemographic variables. For the meta-analysis, we calculated summary relative risks (RRs) using random-effects models. The OR of pancreatic cancer in the case-control study was 2.36 (95% CI, 1.43-3.90) for diabetes, 0.77 (95% CI, 0.55-1.08) for hypertension, 1.38 (95% CI, 0.94-2.01) for hypercholesterolemia, and 1.27 (95% CI, 0.91-1.78) for being overweight at age 30 years. The risk was significantly increased for subjects with 3 or more MetS components (OR = 2.13, 95% CI 1.01-4.49) compared with subjects with no component, the estimates being consistent among strata of sex, age, and alcohol consumption. The meta-analysis included 3 cohort studies and our case-control study, and found a summary RR of 1.55 (95% CI, 1.19-2.01) for subjects with MetS. Metabolic syndrome is related to pancreatic cancer risk. Diabetes is the key component related to risk.
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