Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 38, Issue 11, pp 3109–3116 | Cite as

Risk of pancreatic cancer in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a meta-analysis

  • Min-Seok Seo
  • Jina Yeo
  • In Cheol HwangEmail author
  • Jae-Yong Shim
Original Article



Accumulating evidences suggest that the incidence of several cancers is higher in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) than in general population. However, the finding on pancreatic cancer risk is inconsistent. This meta-analysis aimed to determine whether SLE patients are at risk for pancreatic cancer.


We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane database to screen the studies meeting our criteria. The hazard ratios (HRs) and its 95% confidence interval (CIs) were calculated from a meta-analysis.


Eleven cohort studies were included in the final analysis. Overall, patients with SLE had an increased risk of pancreatic cancer (HR = 1.42, CI = 1.32–1.53). In subgroup analysis, hospital-based (HR = 1.43, CI = 1.32–1.54), retrospective (HR = 1.42, CI = 1.32–1.54), over 10 years followed (HR = 1.44, CI = 1.33–1.55), and low-quality studies (HR = 1.42, CI = 1.31–1.53) remained robust. Significant publication bias was not observed among the studies (p = 0.533).


The synthesized evidence from our meta-analysis demonstrated that SLE was associated with increased risk for pancreatic cancer. A well-designed, long-period followed study is needed to confirm this association.

Key Points

Cancer incidence in SLE patients is increasing, but the data concerning pancreatic cancer remains inconclusive.

Our meta-analysis indicated that the risk of pancreatic cancer was significantly increased in SLE patients.

A well-designed, long-period followed study is needed to confirm the association.


Association Meta-analysis Pancreatic cancer Systemic lupus erythematosus 


Author contributions

Seo, Yeo, and Hwang designed the study and wrote and edited the manuscript.

All four authors searched literature and extracted the data.

Hwang coordinated the study.

All four authors interpreted and discussed the results, revised manuscript, and approved the final version.

Compliance with ethical standards



Supplementary material

10067_2019_4660_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineThe Catholic University of Korea Incheon St. Mary’s HospitalIncheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Yonsei University Graduate School of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Division Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Gil Medical CenterGachon University College of MedicineIncheonSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Family Medicine, Gil Medical CenterGachon University College of MedicineIncheonSouth Korea

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