Dairy products and pancreatic cancer risk: A pooled analysis of 14 cohort studies

Jeanine M. Genkinger, M. Wang, R. Li, D. Albanes, K. E. Anderson, L. Bernstein, P. A. van den Brandt, D. R. English, J. L. Freudenheim, C. S. Fuchs, S. M. Gapstur, G. G. Giles, R. A. Goldbohm, N. Håkansson, P. L. Horn-Ross, A. Koushik, J. R. Marshal, M. L. McCullough, A. B. Miller, K. RobienT. E. Rohan, C. Schairer, D. T. Silverman, R. Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, J. Virtamo, W. C. Willett, A. Wolk, R. G. Ziegler, S. A. Smith-Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer has few early symptoms, is usually diagnosed at late stages, and has a high case-fatality rate. Identifying modifiable risk factors is crucial to reducing pancreatic cancer morbidity and mortality. Prior studies have suggested that specific foods and nutrients, such as dairy products and constituents, may play a role in pancreatic carcinogenesis. In this pooled analysis of the primary data from 14 prospective cohort studies, 2212 incident pancreatic cancer cases were identified during follow-up among 862 680 individuals. Adjusting for smoking habits, personal history of diabetes, alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), and energy intake, multivariable study-specific hazard ratios (MVHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards models and then pooled using a random effects model. There was no association between total milk intake and pancreatic cancer risk (MVHR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.82-1.18 comparing ≥500 with 1-69.9 g/day). Similarly, intakes of low-fat milk, whole milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and icecream were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk. No statistically significant association was observed between dietary (MVHR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.77-1.19) and total calcium (MVHR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.71-1.12) intake and pancreatic cancer risk overall when comparing intakes ≥1300 with <500 mg/day. In addition, null associations were observed for dietary and total vitamin D intake and pancreatic cancer risk. Findings were consistent within sex, smoking status, and BMI strata or when the case definition was limited to pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Overall, these findings do not support the hypothesis that consumption of dairy foods, calcium, or vitamin D during adulthood is associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1115
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Calcium intake
  • Dairy products
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pooled analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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