To reach the cocnlsuion, Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed a cohort of over 500,000 people from the National Institutes of Health - AARP Diet and Health Study.
Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire in 1995 and 1996 and were followed prospectively for an average of 6 years to track a variety of health outcomes, including pancreatic cancer.
Men and women who consumed high amounts of total fats had 53 percent and 23 percent higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer, respectively, compared with men and women who had the lowest fat consumption.
Participants who consumed high amounts of saturated fats had 36 percent higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer compared with those who consumed low amounts.
"[W]e observed positive associations between pancreatic cancer and intakes of total, saturated, and monounsaturated fat overall, particularly from red meat and dairy food sources. We did not observe any consistent association with polyunsaturated or fat from plant food sources," the authors write.
"Altogether, these results suggest a role for animal fat in pancreatic carcinogenesis," they added.