Environmental tobacco smoke and the risk of pancreatic cancer: findings from a Canadian population-based case-control study. Can J Public

Epistream Consulting Inc., Ottawa, ON.
Canadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de santé publique (Impact Factor: 1.02). 01/2004; 95(1):32-7.
Source: PubMed


Despite the fact that tobacco is a well-recognized risk factor for pancreatic cancer, no study has yet reported on the association between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and this malignancy. We investigated the relationship between pancreatic cancer and childhood and adult exposure to ETS using a case-control study design.
Our study population consisted of 583 pancreatic cancer cases and 4,813 population-based controls that were identified within 8 Canadian provinces between 1994 and 1997. Mail-out questionnaires were used to collect risk factor information and a lifetime residential and occupational history of exposure to ETS.
Among never smokers, those who were exposed to ETS both as a child and as an adult had an odds ratio of 1.21 (95% CI=0.60-2.44) relative to those with no exposure. For active smoking, when the referent group consisted of never smokers who had not been regularly exposed to ETS, the risk increases were more pronounced with an increased number of years of smoking, cigarette pack-years, years since quit smoking, and average number of cigarettes smoked daily.
Overall, our results are suggestive of a weak association between pancreatic cancer and ETS. Perhaps more importantly, they suggest that ETS smoking exposures may confound the risk of pancreatic cancer associated with active smoking measures commonly used in epidemiologic studies.

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    • "Tobacco smoking is universally reported as an environmental risk factor for pancreatic cancer and accounts for approximately 25% of all pancreatic cancers [29]. Smoking always should be measured and adjusted for in etiologic epidemiologic studies of pancreatic cancer and encouraging nonsmoking should reduce the incidence of the disease [29, 30]. "
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    • "Environmental tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals including dozens of known carcinogens [32] yet a link between passive or secondhand smoke exposure and pancreatic cancer has not been established [33,34]. In this study, passive exposure to household and workplace cigarette smoke among adults was not associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, nor was childhood household exposure. "
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