, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 809-819
Date: 14 Jul 2007

Pancreatic cancer and medical history in a population-based case–control study in the San Francisco Bay Area, California

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To determine the association between pancreatic cancer and medical conditions.


A large population-based case–control study identified pancreatic cancer cases in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1995 and 1999. A total of 1,701 controls were randomly selected from the same population and were frequency-matched to 532 cases by sex and age. In-person interviews were conducted with no proxy interviews.


Prior history of gallbladder disease was associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.2–2.2), with the highest risk occurring for gallbladder disease not caused by cholelithiasis (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.1–3.7). Risk was associated with cholelithiasis only for participants diagnosed within the year before their pancreatic cancer (OR = 15, 95% CI = 6.2–34), and for those with cholelithiasis and cholecystectomy within the same time frame (OR = 28, 95% CI = 8.2–96). Gastric and/or duodenal ulcers were associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer for individuals with ulcers of ≤two years duration (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.1–4.6). Hyperthyroidism (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.0–4.2) and “other” thyroid conditions (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.1–4.2) were associated with increased risk. Participants with at least one first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer had an increased risk (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1–2.5).


History of recent gallbladder conditions, gastric and/or duodenal ulcers may represent an early manifestation of pancreatic cancer rather than an independent risk factor. These results warrant further investigation in pooled analyses.