A prospective study of folate intake and the risk of pancreatic cancer in men and women

Halcyon G. Skinner, Dominique S. Michaud, Edward L. Giovannucci, Eric B. Rimm, Meir J. Stampfer, Walter C. Willett, Graham A. Colditz, Charles S. Fuchs

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61 Scopus citations


Laboratory and human studies suggest that folate intake may influence the risk of some cancers. However, prospective information about the relation between folate intake and the risk of exocrine pancreatic cancer is limited. The authors examined the relation of dietary folate intake to the risk of pancreatic cancer in two large prospective US cohorts. Folate intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire in 1984 in women and in 1986 in men. Multivariate relative risks were adjusted for age, energy intake, cigarette smoking, body mass index, diabetes, and height. During 14 years' follow-up in each cohort, 326 incident cases of pancreatic cancer were identified. Compared with participants in the lowest category of folate intake, participants in increasing 100-μg categories of total energy-adjusted folate intake had pooled multivariate relative risks for pancreatic cancer of 1.08, 1.10, and 1.03 (95% confidence interval: 0.74, 1.43; ptrend = 0.99). For energy-adjusted folate from food, the pooled relative risks for increasing 100-μg categories of intake were 0.81, 0.89, and 0.66 (95% confidence interval: 0.42, 1.03; ptrend = 0.12). There was no statistical interaction between folate intake and methionine, alcohol, fat, or caffeine. The results from these two large prospective cohorts do not support a strong association between energy-adjusted folate intake and the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-258
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004


  • Adult
  • Cohort studies
  • Folic acid
  • Human
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Pancreatic neoplasms
  • Prospective studies


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