Article open access publication

Lifetime and baseline alcohol intakes and risk of pancreatic cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study

International Journal of Cancer, Wiley, ISSN 0020-7136

Volume 143, 4, 2018

DOI:10.1002/ijc.31367, Dimensions: pub.1101396895, PMC: PMC6481554, PMID: 29524225,



  1. (1) International Agency For Research On Cancer, grid.17703.32
  2. (2) Danish Cancer Society, grid.417390.8
  3. (3) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU
  4. (4) Centre for research in epidemiology and population health, grid.463845.8
  5. (5) Institut Gustave Roussy, grid.14925.3b
  6. (6) Beaujon Hospital, grid.411599.1
  7. (7) Center for Research on Inflammation, grid.462374.0
  8. (8) German Institute of Human Nutrition, grid.418213.d
  9. (9) German Cancer Research Center, grid.7497.d
  10. (10) Hellenic Health Foundation, grid.424637.0
  11. (11) National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, grid.5216.0
  12. (12) Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, grid.417893.0
  13. (13) Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica, grid.417623.5
  14. (14) University of Naples Federico II, grid.4691.a
  15. (15) Cancer Registry and Histopathology Department, Civic M.P.Arezzo Hospital, Ragusa, Italy, Ragusa, Italy.
  16. (16) Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Hospital and Center for Cancer Prevention (CPO), Città della Salute e della Scienza University, Turin, Italy.
  17. (17) University Medical Center Utrecht, grid.7692.a
  18. (18) Imperial College London, grid.7445.2
  19. (19) National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, grid.31147.30
  20. (20) University of Malaya, grid.10347.31
  21. (21) Cancer Registry of Norway, grid.418941.1
  22. (22) Folkhälsans Forskningscentrum, grid.428673.c
  23. (23) Karolinska Institute, grid.4714.6
  24. (24) The Arctic University of Norway, grid.10919.30
  25. (25) Instituto Murciano de Investigación Biosanitaria, grid.452553.0
  26. (26) University of Murcia, grid.10586.3a
  27. (27) CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.
  28. (28) University of Granada, grid.4489.1
  29. (29) Navarra Institute for Health Research (IdiSNA), Pamplona, Spain,
  30. (30) Navarra Public Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain.
  31. (31) Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain.
  32. (32) Basque Government, grid.431260.2
  33. (33) Umeå University, grid.12650.30
  34. (34) Lund University, grid.4514.4
  35. (35) University of Oxford, grid.4991.5
  36. (36) University of Cambridge, grid.5335.0
  37. (37) Catalan Institute of Oncology, grid.418701.b


Recent evidence suggested a weak relationship between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer (PC) risk. In our study, the association between lifetime and baseline alcohol intakes and the risk of PC was evaluated, including the type of alcoholic beverages and potential interaction with smoking. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, 1,283 incident PC (57% women) were diagnosed from 476,106 cancer-free participants, followed up for 14 years. Amounts of lifetime and baseline alcohol were estimated through lifestyle and dietary questionnaires, respectively. Cox proportional hazard models with age as primary time variable were used to estimate PC hazard ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence interval (CI). Alcohol intake was positively associated with PC risk in men. Associations were mainly driven by extreme alcohol levels, with HRs comparing heavy drinkers (>60 g/day) to the reference category (0.1-4.9 g/day) equal to 1.77 (95% CI: 1.06, 2.95) and 1.63 (95% CI: 1.16, 2.29) for lifetime and baseline alcohol, respectively. Baseline alcohol intakes from beer (>40 g/day) and spirits/liquors (>10 g/day) showed HRs equal to 1.58 (95% CI: 1.07, 2.34) and 1.41 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.94), respectively, compared to the reference category (0.1-2.9 g/day). In women, HR estimates did not reach statistically significance. The alcohol and PC risk association was not modified by smoking status. Findings from a large prospective study suggest that baseline and lifetime alcohol intakes were positively associated with PC risk, with more apparent risk estimates for beer and spirits/liquors than wine intake.


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