A Prospective Analysis of Intake of Red and Processed Meat in Relation to Pancreatic Cancer among African American Women.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 09; 29(9):1775-1783.CE
African Americans have the highest incidence of pancreatic cancer of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. There is evidence that consumption of red or processed meat and foods containing saturated fats may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, but there is limited evidence in African Americans.
Utilizing the Black Women's Health Study (1995-2018), we prospectively investigated the associations of red and processed meat and saturated fats with incidence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma (n = 168). A food frequency questionnaire was completed by 52,706 participants in 1995 and 2001. Multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression. We observed interactions with age (P interaction = 0.01). Thus, results were stratified at age 50 (<50, ≥50).
Based on 148 cases among women aged ≥50 years, total red meat intake was associated with a 65% increased pancreatic cancer risk (HRQ4 vs. Q1 = 1.65; 95% CI, 0.98-2.78; P trend = 0.05), primarily due to unprocessed red meat. There was also a nonsignificant association between total saturated fat and pancreatic cancer (HRQ4 vs. Q1 = 1.85; 95% CI, 0.92-3.72; P trend = 0.08). Red meat and saturated fat intakes were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk in younger women, and there was no association with processed meat in either age group.
Red meat-specifically, unprocessed red meat-and saturated fat intakes were associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in African-American women aged 50 and older, but not among younger women.
The accumulating evidence-including now in African-American women-suggests that diet, a modifiable factor, plays a role in the etiology of pancreatic cancer, suggesting opportunities for prevention.