Proanthocyanidins and other flavonoids in relation to pancreatic cancer: A case-control study in Italy

M. Rossi, A. Lugo, P. Lagiou, A. Zucchetto, J. Polesel, D. Serraino, E. Negri, D. Trichopoulos, C. La vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Four cohort studies have examined the relation between flavonoids and pancreatic cancer risk providing inconsistent results. Patients and methods: We conducted a case-control study between 1991 and 2008 in Northern Italy. Subjects were 326 cases with incident pancreatic cancer and 652 frequency-matched controls (admitted to the same hospitals as cases for acute non-neoplastic conditions) who answered a reproducible and valid food-frequency questionnaire. We computed odds ratios (ORs) using logistic regression models conditioned on gender, age and study center, and adjusted for education, history of diabetes, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking and energy intake. Results: Proanthocyanidins with three or more mers were inversely related to pancreatic cancer risk. The ORs were similar in all classes of polymers with three or more mers and in their combination (OR for the highest versus the lowest quintile of intake, 0.41; 95% confidence interval 0.24-0.69), and did not substantially change after adjustment for fruit and vegetable consumption, and for vitamin C and folate intakes. Eating an additional portion of fruits rich in proanthocyanidins every day reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 25%. Conclusion: Dietary proanthocyanidins-mostly present in apples, pears and pulses-may convey some protection against pancreatic cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1493
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Diet
  • Flavonoids
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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