Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and methionine are involved in DNA synthesis and methylation and thus may modulate pancreatic cancer risk. We investigated these associations in a population-based case-control study conducted in 1994-1998.
Cases (n = 150) were identified from all hospitals in the metropolitan areas of the Twin Cities and the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. Controls (n = 459) were selected randomly from the general population and were frequency matched to cases by age, sex, and race. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for risk of pancreatic cancer in relation to intake of nutrients considered.
Dietary intake of folate was associated with a reduced pancreatic cancer risk [OR (95% CI) for quartile (Q) 4 vs. Q1: 0.31 (0.12-0.78)]. A composite score (range from 2 to 8), reflecting combined dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6, was also inversely associated with pancreatic cancer risk [OR (95% CI) for Q4 vs. Q1: 0.24 (0.08-0.70)]. Null associations were found for intake of vitamin B12 and methionine.
Dietary folate intake was associated with a reduced pancreatic cancer risk, and this association became stronger when dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6 was combined in analysis.