Research led by researchers at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health has examined the inflammatory potential of diet and risk of pancreatic cancer. The study was published in PLOS One.
Previous studies have identified inflammation, which can be modified by diet, as a central factor in the causes of pancreatic cancer. This project assessed the inflammatory potential of diet using the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®), which ranks foods and macronutrients according to their inflammatory properties and was developed researchers in the Arnold School’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program. DII uses these rankings to create an overall score for an individual, which indicates his/her dietary inflammatory potential.
Using data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, the present study included more than 100K participants, ages 52-78. The researchers computed DII scores based on food and supplement intake. They used Cox proportional hazards models and time dependent Cox models to estimate hazard ratios and 95 percent confidence intervals with participants in the lowest E-DII quintile (i.e., most anti-inflammatory scores) as a comparison.
After a median of 8.5 years of follow up, more than 300 pancreatic cancer cases were identified. The researchers found that E-DII scores were not associated with pancreatic cancer.
The authors concluded that this study did not support an association between inflammatory potential of diet and pancreatic cancer risk. However, heterogeneous results were obtained with different follow-up times. These divergent associations may result from the influences of undetected disease in the short-term.