Reduce pancreatic cancer risk with consuming healthy diet. The study authors evaluated how closely study participants` diets matched the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2005), and then compared their risk of pancreatic cancer.
Hannah Arem, Ph.D.,, from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues calculated HEI-2005 scores for 537,218 participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study (ages 50-71 years), based on responses to food frequency questionnaires.
Pancreatic cancer risk was then compared between those with high and low HEI-2005 scores, accounting for the influence of other known pancreatic cancer risk factors.
Among the study participants there were 2,383 new cases of pancreatic cancer. Overall, the investigators observed a 15% lower risk of pancreatic cancer among participants with the highest HEI-2005 score compared to those with the lowest HEI-2005 score.
This association was stronger among overweight or obese men compared to men of normal weight, but there was no difference for normal vs. overweight or obese women.
The researchers noted that diet is difficult to measure and the HEI-2005 was not designed specifically for the purpose of overall cancer prevention.
The study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.