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Eating Animal Fat May Lead to Pancreatic Cancer
Date:6/26/2009

Added risk is tied to red meat and dairy products, study finds,,

FRIDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Fat from red meat and dairy products can increase your risk for pancreatic cancer, researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute report.

Pancreatic cancer, which is usually fatal, is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Various risk factors for developing the disease have been identified, including smoking, diabetes and obesity. Some studies have also linked dietary fat to increased risk, but researchers said that data had been inconclusive.

However, Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, from the institute's cancer epidemiology and genetics division, said the new study "found an association between high fat intake and pancreatic cancer risk -- specifically, high fat from animal foods."

"These findings are in line with the dietary guidelines for Americans to reduce the amount of fat they eat," she said. "Reducing fat may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer."

The report is published online June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers collected data on more than a half-million people -- 308,736 men and 216,737 women -- who participated in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. All participants completed a 124-item food questionnaire in 1995 and 1996.

During an average of six years of follow-up, 1,337 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Men who consumed the most fat from animal sources had a 53 percent increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer and women had a 23 percent increased risk, compared with men and women who ate the least fat, the study found.

In addition, it found that people who ate high amounts of saturated fats had 36 percent higher rates of pancreatic cancer than did those who ate low amounts.

Dr. Brian M. Wolpin, and oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer I
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