Metabolic syndrome, metabolic components, and their relation to the risk of pancreatic cancer

Sung Keun Park, Chang Mo Oh, Min Ho Kim, Eunhee Ha, Yong Sung Choi, Jae Hong Ryoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), such as elevated fasting glucose levels and abdominal obesity, have been suggested as potential risk factors for pancreatic cancer. However, data are still insufficient to assure the influence of MetS on incident pancreatic cancer. The objective of the current study was to investigate the association between MetS, metabolic components, and the risk of pancreatic cancer. Methods: In the Korea National Health Information Database, 223,138 individuals who were without pancreatic cancer in 2009 were enrolled and followed until 2013. They were categorized into 4 groups according to the number of baseline metabolic components (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4-5). A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to calculate the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for incident pancreatic cancer according to the presence of MetS and the number of metabolic components. In addition, the risk of pancreatic cancer was evaluated in individuals who had a single metabolic component. Results: The presence of MetS was significantly associated with incident pancreatic cancer (adjusted HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.19-1.81). The group with 4 or 5 baseline metabolic components had a higher risk of pancreatic cancer than the other groups (0 components: reference category; 1 component: adjusted HR, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.61-1.45]; 2 components: adjusted HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.68-1.56]; 3 components: adjusted HR, 1.35 [95% CI, 0.89-2.04]; 4-5 components: adjusted HR, 1.64 [95% CI, 1.06-2.51]). Regarding associations between the individual metabolic components and pancreatic cancer, no metabolic component alone had a statistically significant association with pancreatic cancer. Conclusions: MetS is a potential risk factor for pancreatic cancer. The presence of ≥4 metabolic components leads to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer even within categories of the MetS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979-1986
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Cancer Society


  • abdominal obesity
  • blood pressure
  • fasting glucose
  • metabolic syndrome
  • pancreatic cancer


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