The purpose of this work was to determine whether obesity is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
Dr Raffaele Pezzilli and colleagues studied 400 patients with this tumor and 400 controls matched for sex and age from various Italian cities.
The researchers used a standardized questionnaire that was compiled at personal interview.
The research team gave particular attention to body weight at the time of the interview, and for those with the tumor, their weight before onset of the disease.
| Pancreatic cancer risk adjusted for smoking was 5-fold higher with a BMI less than 23 kg/m2|
Body mass index was calculated as the patient's weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared.
Pancreatic cancer risk adjusted for smoking was 5-fold higher in patients with a body mass index less than 23 kg/m2 after diagnosis compared with 23 to 30 kg/m2.
The team found that the risk in patients with body mass index of at least 30 kg/m2 was not significant.
Taking into account body mass index before diagnosis, smoking was confirmed as a significant risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
The researchers found no significant relationship between body mass index classes and the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Dr Pezzilli's team concludes, “These findings indicate that obesity is not a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.”