Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 603–612 | Cite as

Body mass index, physical activity and the risk of pancreatic cancer in relation to smoking status and history of diabetes: a large-scale population-based cohort study in Japan–The JPHC study

  • Juhua Luo
  • Motoki Iwasaki
  • Manami Inoue
  • Shizuka Sasazuki
  • Tetsuya Otani
  • Weimin Ye
  • Shoichiro Tsugane
  • for the JPHC Study Group
Original Paper



The effects of BMI and physical activity on the risk of pancreatic cancer were investigated in a large population-based cohort study in Japan (JPHC study). In particular, we explored how these effects were influenced by smoking status and a history of diabetes.


In total, 99,670 participants (47,499 men, and 52,171women) were followed for an average of 11 years through the end of 2003. Hazard ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by Cox proportional hazards models.


A total of 224 incident cases (128 men, 96 women) of pancreatic cancer were identified. A statistically significant excess risk of pancreatic cancer was associated with current smoking (HR = 1.8, CI 1.1–3.0) and a history of diabetes (HR = 2.1, CI 1.3–3.5) among men. A similar increase in risk associated with current smoking (HR = 2.0, CI 0.9–4.4) and diabetes (HR = 1.5, CI 0.7–3.5) was also seen among women. BMI was inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer among men, especially among current male smokers or diabetes patients, but no association was found among women. Leisure-time physical activity was not associated with risk in either men or women.


Our study confirms the association between cigarette smoking, history of diabetes and increased risk of pancreatic cancer. However, our data suggest that the association between BMI and risk of pancreatic cancer in this Japanese population may be different from that in Western populations.


BMI Physical activity Pancreatic cancer Risk factors Smoking diabetes 



This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Cancer Research and Third-Term Comprehensive Control Research for Cancer from the Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare of Japan. J.L. was partly supported by the SVENSKA SÄLLSKAPET FÖR MEDICINSK FORSKNING (SSMF) and the Karolinska Institutet Travel Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juhua Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Motoki Iwasaki
    • 1
  • Manami Inoue
    • 1
  • Shizuka Sasazuki
    • 1
  • Tetsuya Otani
    • 1
  • Weimin Ye
    • 2
  • Shoichiro Tsugane
    • 1
  • for the JPHC Study Group
  1. 1.Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and ScreeningNational Cancer CenterChuo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Medical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

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