Diabetes, antidiabetic medications, and pancreatic cancer risk: an analysis from the International Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium

C. Bosetti, V. Rosato, D. Li, D. Silverman, G. M. Petersen, P. M. Bracci, R. E. Neale, J. Muscat, K. Anderson, S. Gallinger, S. H. Olson, A. B. Miller, H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, G. Scelo, V. Janout, I. Holcatova, P. Lagiou, D. Serraino, E. Lucenteforte, E. FabianovaP. A. Baghurst, W. Zatonski, L. Foretova, E. Fontham, W. R. Bamlet, E. A. Holly, E. Negri, M. Hassan, A. Prizment, M. Cotterchio, S. Cleary, R. C. Kurtz, P. Maisonneuve, D. Trichopoulos, J. Polesel, E. J. Duell, P. Boffetta, C. La Vecchia, P. Ghadirian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus has been associated with an excess risk of pancreatic cancer, but the magnitude of the risk and the time–risk relationship are unclear, and there is limited information on the role of antidiabetic medications. Patients and methods: We analyzed individual-level data from 15 case–control studies within the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium, including 8305 cases and 13 987 controls. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) were estimated from multiple logistic regression models, adjusted for relevant covariates. Results: Overall, 1155 (15%) cases and 1087 (8%) controls reported a diagnosis of diabetes 2 or more years before cancer diagnosis (or interview, for controls), corresponding to an OR of 1.90 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.72–2.09). Consistent risk estimates were observed across strata of selected covariates, including body mass index and tobacco smoking. Pancreatic cancer risk decreased with duration of diabetes, but a significant excess risk was still evident 20 or more years after diabetes diagnosis (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.03–1.63). Among diabetics, long duration of oral antidiabetic use was associated with a decreased pancreatic cancer risk (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.14–0.69, for ≥15 years). Conversely, insulin use was associated with a pancreatic cancer risk in the short term (OR 5.60, 95% CI 3.75–8.35, for <5 years), but not for longer duration of use (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.53–1.70, for ≥15 years). Conclusion: This study provides the most definitive quantification to date of an excess risk of pancreatic cancer among diabetics. It also shows that a 30% excess risk persists for more than two decades after diabetes diagnosis, thus supporting a causal role of diabetes in pancreatic cancer. Oral antidiabetics may decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas insulin showed an inconsistent duration–risk relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2065-2072
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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