Glycemic index, glycemic load, and pancreatic cancer risk (Canada)

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cancer Causes and Control (Impact Factor: 2.74). 06/2005; 16(4):431-6. DOI: 10.1007/s10552-004-5028-7
Source: PubMed


There is some evidence that plasma insulin and postload plasma glucose may be associated with risk of pancreatic cancer. Glycemic index and glycemic load are measures, which allow the carbohydrate content of individual foods to be classified according to their postprandial glycemic effects and hence their effects on circulating insulin levels. Therefore, we examined pancreatic cancer risk in association with glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and intake of dietary carbohydrate and sugar in a prospective cohort of 49,613 Canadian women enrolled in the National Breast Screening Study (NBSS) who completed a self-administered food frequency questionnaire between 1980 and 1985. Linkages to national cancer and mortality databases yielded data on cancer incidence and deaths, with follow-up ending between 1998 and 2000. During a mean 16.5 years of follow-up, we observed 112 incident pancreatic cancer cases. There was no association between overall glycemic index, glycemic load, total carbohydrate and total sugar intake and pancreatic cancer risk. In multivariate adjusted models, the hazard ratio (HR) for the highest versus lowest quartile levels of overall GI and GL were 1.43 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.56–3.65, P
trend=0.58) and 0.80 (95% CI=0.45–1.41, P
trend=0.41), respectively. Our data suggest that overall glycemic index and glycemic load, as well as total sugar and total carbohydrate intake, are not associated with pancreatic cancer risk. However, given the limited literature regarding the role of diet in the etiology of pancreatic cancer, particularly with respect to glycemic index/load, further investigation is warranted.

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    • "Glycemic load and index are measures of the body’s glucose-response (or insulin demand) to carbohydrate intake. Six cohort studies examining estimated glycemic load or index from self-reported questionnaires and pancreatic cancer risk observed no associations [31, 37, 57–59], while the Nurses Health Study reported that glycemic load was strongly related to risk among overweight or sedentary women [33]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the associations between sweets, sweetened and unsweetened beverages, and sugars and pancreatic cancer risk. We conducted a population-based case-control study (532 cases, 1,701 controls) and used multivariate logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Because associations were often different by sex, we present results for men and women combined and separately. Among men, greater intakes of total and specific sweets were associated with pancreatic cancer risk (total sweets: OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.6; sweet condiments: OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.2, 3.1; chocolate candy: OR = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.0; other mixed candy bars: OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.5, 7.3 for 1 + servings/day versus none/rarely). Sweets were not consistently associated with risk among women. Sweetened beverages were not associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk. In contrast, low-calorie soft drinks were associated with increased risk among men only; while other low-/non-caloric beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, and water) were unassociated with risk. Of the three sugars assessed (lactose, fructose, and sucrose), only the milk sugar lactose was associated with pancreatic cancer risk (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.5, 2.7 comparing extreme quartiles). These results provide limited support for the hypothesis that sweets or sugars increase pancreatic cancer risk.
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