Intake of fatty acids and antioxidants and pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay Area

Authors

  • Zhihong Gong,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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  • Elizabeth A. Holly,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    2. Department of Health Research and Policy, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
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  • Furong Wang,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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  • June M. Chan,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    2. Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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  • Paige M. Bracci

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
    • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 280, San Francisco, CA 94118-1944, USA
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    • Tel: 415-476-3345, Fax: +415-563-4602


Abstract

There are no well-established modifiable risk factors for pancreatic cancer except smoking. Some dietary factors have been associated with pancreatic cancer risk and require further study. We examined the associations among intake of specific fatty acids and antioxidants and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) as estimates of relative risk. Positive associations were observed for high levels of the 8 individual saturated fatty acids (4th vs. 1st quartile: ORs ranged from 1.6 to 2.6; all ptrend < 0.01), monounsaturated palmitoleic and oleic fatty acids [OR = 1.6 (95% CI: 1.2–2.1) and 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1–1.9); both ptrend < 0.01], and polyunsaturated linolenic acid [OR = 1.5 (95% CI: 1.1–2.0); ptrend = 0.02]. Inverse associations were observed for high levels of gadolic acid [4th vs. 1st quartile: OR = 0.68 (95% CI: 0.50–0.92); ptrend = 0.007] and omega-3 fatty acids [≥0.85 g/day vs. 1st quartile: OR = 0.47 (95% CI: 0.25–0.90)]. An inverse association was also observed for high total intake of vitamin C [4th vs. 1st quartile: OR = 0.69 (95% CI: 0.51–0.94); ptrend = 0.004] and of vitamin E [OR = 0.67 (95% CI: 0.49–0.92); ptrend = 0.01]. Although similar decreased risks were also observed for high supplemental intake of these 2 vitamins (both ptrend < 0.01), no association was observed for intake from food alone. These results support the hypotheses that a high intake of saturated and certain monounsaturated fatty acids may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas greater intake of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E may reduce the risk.

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