Sustained Weight Loss, Weight Cycling, and Weight Gain during Adulthood and Pancreatic Cancer Incidence in the Women's Health Initiative

Molly E. Schwalb, Stephanie A. Smith-Warner, Jianrui Hou, Thomas E. Rohan, Linda Snetselaar, Juhua Luo, Jeanine M. Genkinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality among women in the United States. Obesity is positively associated with PC risk. Current health recommendations focus on weight maintenance for healthy-weight individuals and weight loss for overweight/obese individuals; however, little research has assessed associations between PC risk and changes in weight throughout the life course. Using prospective cohort study data, we examined the relationship between baseline adulthood weight patterns self-reported between 1993 and 1998 and PC risk in 136,834 postmenopausal women with 873 incident PC cases through September 30, 2015, in the Women's Health Initiative. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for age, smoking habits, heavy alcohol consumption, and body mass index. Compared with women with stable weight, no significant associations were found between steady weight gain (HR = 1.01, 95% CI: 0.83, 1.22), sustained weight loss (HR = 1.26, 95% CI: 0.85, 1.87), or weight cycling patterns (HR = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.89, 1.30) and PC. Results were similar when the outcome definition was restricted to pancreatic adenocarcinoma cases. Overall, we did not find evidence to suggest that weight changes in adulthood significantly impact PC risk among postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1020
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume191
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • pancreatic cancer
  • weight cycling
  • weight loss
  • weight patterns
  • Women's Health Initiative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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