Animal fat consumption and pancreatic cancer incidence: Evidence of interaction with cigarette smoking

Jianjun Zhang, Zijin Zhao, Hans J. Berkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: A large difference in fat intake and pancreatic cancer incidence exists among populations worldwide. This study investigated the relation between fat consumption and pancreatic cancer risk at the population level. METHODS: Fat consumption data for nine periods (1964-1994) and age-standardized pancreatic cancer incidence data for five periods (1973-1997) in 35 countries were derived from the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization, respectively. RESULTS: A significant positive correlation was found between animal fat consumption and pancreatic cancer incidence in all periods examined (r = 0.40-0.74, p = 0.021 to < 0.0001 in men and r = 0.50-0.66, p = 0.01 to 0.0001 in women). After adjustment for smoking and other confounders, animal fat consumption in all nine periods considered was still significantly and positively associated with pancreatic cancer incidence in the 1993 to 1997 period in both sexes. The stratified analysis showed that this association was significant only in countries with below median level of smoking (< 2273 cigarettes/adult/year). A similar but less pronounced effect was observed for total fat consumption. CONCLUSIONS: The consumption of fat, especially animal fat, was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer and this association was modified by levels of cigarette smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-508
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Fat
  • Incidence
  • Nutrition
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Population
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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