Cruciferous vegetable consumption and pancreatic cancer: A case-control study

Cancer Epidemiol. 2021 Mar 11;72:101924. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2021.101924. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is a deadly malignancy with limited screening and few modifiable risk factors. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between a modifiable lifestyle behavior, cruciferous vegetable consumption, and pancreatic cancer, both overall and by subgroups based on non-modifiable, established risk factors.

METHODS: We conducted a hospital-based, case-control study utilizing data from the Patient Epidemiology Data System (1982-1998) at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Buffalo, NY) which included 183 pancreatic cancer patients and 732 cancer-free controls. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire including a 52-item food frequency questionnaire and other epidemiologic data. Multivariable logistic regression, adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), sex, smoking status, total meat, and family history of pancreatic cancer, was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations between cruciferous vegetable consumption and pancreatic cancer. Subgroup analyses were conducted by sex, smoking status, and BMI.

RESULTS: We observed inverse associations between cruciferous vegetable intake and pancreatic cancer, with a significant 40% lower odds of pancreatic cancer among subjects consuming >1.5 servings per week (SPW) of raw cruciferous vegetables compared to those consuming less than 0.5 SPW (OR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.39-0.93). Each additional SPW of total, raw, and cooked cruciferous vegetables was associated with a significant 7-15% lower odds of pancreatic cancer, with the strongest association seen in raw cruciferous vegetables (OR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.75-0.95). We observed inverse associations between raw cruciferous vegetable intake and pancreatic cancer among people who were overweight, former smokers, and males, ranging from 50% to 59% lower odds.

CONCLUSION: Consuming cruciferous vegetables, especially raw cruciferous vegetables, is a modifiable lifestyle behavior which may be inversely associated with pancreatic cancer, including among subgroups with other non- or not easily modifiable risk factors for this deadly malignancy.

PMID:33714902 | DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2021.101924