Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load and risk of pancreatic cancer: A case-control study

Marta Rossi, Loren Lipworth, Jerry Polesel, Eva Negri, Cristina Bosetti, Renato Talamini, Joseph K. McLaughlin, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Carbohydrates and dietary glycemic index (GI) influence the secretion of insulin and insulin-related growth factors and may play a role in the development of diabetes and obesity, both of which have been related to pancreatic cancer risk. Methods: We examined the association between dietary GI and glycemic load (GL) and pancreatic cancer by conducting a hospital-based case-control study in Italy in 1991-2008 of 326 cases of pancreatic cancer and 652 control patients. Dietary data were obtained with the use of a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were computed with the use of multiple logistic regression. Results: GI was positively associated with pancreatic cancer, with ORs of 1.56 (95% CI, 1.06-2.30) and 1.78 (95% CI, 1.20-2.62) for the second and third tertiles, respectively, compared with the lowest. No significant association was observed between GL and pancreatic cancer. Consumption of sugar, candy, honey, and jam was positively associated with pancreatic cancer, whereas consumption of fruit was inversely associated. Conclusions: In conclusion, the positive association with high GI, in the absence of an association with dietary GL, fruit, or total carbohydrates, likely reflects the positive association between sweets or refined carbohydrates and pancreatic cancer in this study population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-465
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Epidemiology
  • Glycemic Index
  • Glycemic Load
  • Pancreatic Cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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