Glycemic Index, Carbohydrates, Glycemic Load, and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in a Prospective Cohort Study

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20852, USA.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.13). 05/2009; 18(4):1144-51. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-1135
Source: PubMed


Diets with high glycemic index and glycemic load have been associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance has been implicated in the etiology of pancreatic cancer. We prospectively investigated the associations between glycemic index, carbohydrates, glycemic load, and available carbohydrates dietary constituents (starch and simple sugar) intake and the risk of pancreatic cancer. We followed the participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study from 1995/1996 through December 2003. A baseline self-administered food frequency questionnaire was used to assess the dietary intake and exposure information. A total of 1,151 exocrine pancreatic cancer cases were identified from 482,362 participants after excluding first-year of follow-up. We used multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models to calculate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for pancreatic cancer. There were no associations between glycemic index, total or available carbohydrates, gycemic load, and pancreatic cancer risk. Participants with high free fructose and glucose intake were at a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer (highest compared with lowest quintile, RR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.04-1.59; P trend = 0.004 and RR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.10-1.67; P trend = 0.005, respectively). There were no statistically significant interactions by body mass index, physical activity, or smoking status. Our results do not support an association between glycemic index, total or available carbohydrate intake, and glycemic load and pancreatic cancer risk. The higher risk associated with high free fructose intake needs further confirmation and elucidation.

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