High Fat Diet May Lead To Pancreatic Cancer
A new study now shows that a diet high in fat from red meats and dairy may be linked to pancreatic cancer.
Researchers at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md studied over 500,000 people from the National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study. The people participating in the study had completed a food questionnaire in 1995-1996 and were observed for about six years in order to track their health.
In that time, 865 of the men and 472 of the women were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The study found that men eating a high-fat diet had a 53 percent higher chance of pancreatic cancer, while women's risk raised by 23 percent compared to those that ate less amounts of fat.
“[W]e observed positive associations between pancreatic cancer and intakes of total, saturated, and monounsaturated fat overall, particularly from red meat and dairy food sources. We did not observe any consistent association with polyunsaturated or fat from plant food sources,” the authors write. “Altogether, these results suggest a role for animal fat in pancreatic carcinogenesis.”
According to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, an estimated 42,470 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, and over 35,240 will die from the disease. Seventy-five percent of people with pancreatic cancer die within the first 12 months of being diagnosed. Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer related death in the U.S.
This study was published online June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.