Background: Detailed prospective evaluation of cigarette smoking associated with pancreatic cancer risk in large Asian populations is limited. The aim of this study was to examine this association in a Japanese population, with a particular focus on evaluating sex differences.
Methods: We performed a pooled analysis of 10 population-based cohort studies. We calculated study-specific HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using Cox proportional hazards regression, and then estimated summary HRs by pooling these estimates with a random effects model.
Results: During 4,695,593 person-years of follow-up in 354,154 participants, 1,779 incident pancreatic cancer cases were identified. We observed an increased pancreatic cancer risk for current smoking compared with never smoking in both males [HR (95% CI), 1.59 (1.32-1.91)] and females [HR (95% CI), 1.81 (1.43-2.30)]. Significant risk elevations for former smoking and small cumulative dose of ≤20 pack-years (PY) were observed only among females, regardless of environmental tobacco smoke exposure. Trend analysis indicated significant 6% and nonsignificant 6% increases in pancreatic cancer risk for every 10 PYs in males and females, respectively. Risk became comparable with never smokers after 5 years of smoking cessation in males. In females, however, we observed no risk attenuation by smoking cessation.
Conclusions: This study supports the well-known association between smoking and pancreatic cancer and indicates potential sex differences in a Japanese population. Quitting smoking would be beneficial for pancreatic cancer prevention, especially in males.
Impact: Pancreatic cancer risk is increased with cumulative smoking exposure and decreased with smoking cessation, with potential sex differences.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.