Whole-grain intake and pancreatic cancer risk - The Danish, Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort

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Background: Pancreatic cancer is a highly deadly disease with a poor prognosis. There is limited knowledge about prevention of the disease; thus, identification of risk factors is important to reduce the disease incidence.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to prospectively investigate associations between incidence of pancreatic cancer and whole-grain intake measured in 2 ways: as whole-grain product intake (g whole-grain products/d) and as whole-grain intake (grams of whole grains/d). Moreover, the intake of subgroups of these was also investigated: whole-grain products (rye bread, whole-grain bread, and oatmeal/muesli) and cereals (rye, wheat, and oats).

Methods: In total, 55,995 Danish adults aged 50-64 y, of whom 446 developed pancreatic cancer (17.5 y mean follow-up), were included in the study. Detailed information on daily intake of whole-grain products was available from a validated self-administered FFQ, and intake of whole-grain cereals (wheat, rye, and oats) was estimated using information from a 24-h dietary recall. The association between the whole-grain exposures and incidence of pancreatic cancer was investigated by Cox regression analyses adjusted for potential confounders.

Results: Total whole-grain product intake was associated with a 7% lower incidence of pancreatic cancer per serving (50 g/d) (HR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.86, 1.00), and in the sex-specific analyses, an inverse association was found only in men. No association was found for total whole-grain intake (per 16-g serving size; HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.89, 1.03). When investigating specific whole-grain products and cereals individually, none were alone associated with lower incidence of pancreatic cancer.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that intake of whole grains is associated with lower risk of pancreatic cancer in middle-aged men. Consuming ample amounts of whole grains may prove beneficial in terms of lowering pancreatic cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)666-674
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Nutrition.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Whole grains, Cereals, Rye, Oats, Wheat, Pancreatic cancer, Neoplasm, Cohort, Nordic diet, Nutrition and cancer

ID: 256631748