To evaluate the dose–response relationship between cigarette smoking and pancreatic cancer and to examine the effects of temporal variables.
We analyzed data from 12 case–control studies within the International Pancreatic Cancer Case–Control Consortium (PanC4), including 6507 pancreatic cases and 12 890 controls. We estimated summary odds ratios (ORs) by pooling study-specific ORs using random-effects models.
Compared with never smokers, the OR was 1.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0–1.3) for former smokers and 2.2 (95% CI 1.7–2.8) for current cigarette smokers, with a significant increasing trend in risk with increasing number of cigarettes among current smokers (OR = 3.4 for ≥35 cigarettes per day, P for trend <0.0001). Risk increased in relation to duration of cigarette smoking up to 40 years of smoking (OR = 2.4). No trend in risk was observed for age at starting cigarette smoking, whereas risk decreased with increasing time since cigarette cessation, the OR being 0.98 after 20 years.
This uniquely large pooled analysis confirms that current cigarette smoking is associated with a twofold increased risk of pancreatic cancer and that the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and duration of smoking. Risk of pancreatic cancer reaches the level of never smokers ∼20 years after quitting.