To evaluate the role of a diabetes risk reduction diet (DRRD) on pancreatic cancer risk.
We used data from a hospital-based case-control study conducted in Italy between 1991 and 2008; the study included 326 incident pancreatic cancer cases and 652 controls matched by age, gender and study center. Subjects’ usual diet was collected through a valid and reproducible food frequency questionnaire. A DRRD score was derived from 8 dietary components: cereal fiber, total fruit, coffee, polyunsaturated to saturated fats ratio and nuts (higher score for higher intake), and dietary glycemic index, red/processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages/fruit juices (higher score for lower intake). The score ranged 8-37, with higher values indicating greater DRRD adherence. Odds ratios (ORs) of pancreatic cancer according to the DRRD score were estimated using multiple conditional logistic regression models.
After allowance for confounding factors, the DRRD score was inversely related to pancreatic cancer risk, with ORs of 0.55 (95% confidence interval, CI 0.38-0.80) for the highest versus the lowest score tertile (p for trend across tertiles = 0.002) and 0.84 (95% CI 0.75-0.95) for a 3-point score increment. The exclusion of diabetic subjects and additional adjustment for vegetable intake did not change the results. Inverse associations were observed in subgroups defined by age, gender, education, body mass index, smoking and total energy intake.
Study findings suggest a protective role of high adherence to a DRRD on pancreatic cancer risk.