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Intake of methyl-related nutrients and risk of pancreatic cancer in a population-based case-control study in Minnesota

European Journal of Clinical Nutritionvolume 72pages11281135 (2018) | Download Citation



Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and methionine are involved in DNA synthesis and methylation and thus may modulate pancreatic cancer risk. We investigated these associations in a population-based case-control study conducted in 1994–1998.


Cases (n = 150) were identified from all hospitals in the metropolitan areas of the Twin Cities and the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. Controls (n = 459) were selected randomly from the general population and were frequency matched to cases by age, sex, and race. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for risk of pancreatic cancer in relation to intake of nutrients considered.


Dietary intake of folate was associated with a reduced pancreatic cancer risk [OR (95% CI) for quartile (Q) 4 vs. Q1: 0.31 (0.12–0.78)]. A composite score (range from 2 to 8), reflecting combined dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6, was also inversely associated with pancreatic cancer risk [OR (95% CI) for Q4 vs. Q1: 0.24 (0.08–0.70)]. Null associations were found for intake of vitamin B12 and methionine.


Dietary folate intake was associated with a reduced pancreatic cancer risk, and this association became stronger when dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6 was combined in analysis.

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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01CA58697 to Dr. Kristin Anderson and T32CA117865 to Dr. Victoria Champion). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author information


  1. Department of Epidemiology, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, 1050 Wishard Boulevard, IN, 46202, USA

    • Andrew R. Marley
    • , Hao Fan
    • , Margaret L. Hoyt
    •  & Jianjun Zhang
  2. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA

    • Kristin E. Anderson
  3. Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, 425 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA

    • Kristin E. Anderson
  4. Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, 535 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA

    • Jianjun Zhang


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Jianjun Zhang.

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