Total Nut, Tree Nut, Peanut, and Peanut Butter Consumption and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in the Netherlands Cohort Study

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Mar;27(3):274-284. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0448. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


Background: Nut intake has been associated with decreased cancer-related mortality, but few studies have examined the potential of nuts in the chemoprevention of pancreatic cancer. We prospectively investigated the association of total nut, tree nut, peanut, and peanut butter consumption with pancreatic cancer risk.Methods: In the Netherlands Cohort Study, 120,852 men and women completed a baseline questionnaire, including a food frequency questionnaire, in 1986. After 20.3 years of follow-up, 583 incident pancreatic cancer cases, including 349 microscopically confirmed pancreatic cancer (MCPC) cases, were included in multivariable case-cohort analyses.Results: Increased total nut consumption was associated with a nonsignificantly decreased MCPC risk in men [HR (95% confidence interval) for 10+ g/d vs. nonconsumers = 0.72 (0.47-1.11), Ptrend = 0.163]. No clear association was found in women. For tree nut and peanut consumption, nonsignificant inverse associations were observed in men. In women, no or unclear associations were found for tree nut and peanut consumption. Peanut butter intake was related to a significantly reduced risk of MCPC in men [HR (95% confidence interval) for 5+ g/d vs. nonconsumers = 0.53 (0.28-1.00), Ptrend = 0.047], but this relation was not clear in women. Evidence for a nonlinear dose-response relation with MCPC was found for tree nut intake only. The associations were weaker when looking at total pancreatic cancer.Conclusions: Our results suggest that nuts and peanut butter might reduce pancreatic cancer risk in men. In women, no or unclear associations were found.Impact: Nut consumption might reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer in men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 27(3); 274-84. ©2018 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arachis*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Nuts*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data