Background: The consumption of sweet beverages has been associated with greater risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which may be involved in the development of pancreatic cancer. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that sweet beverages may increase pancreatic cancer risk as well.
Objective: We examined the association between sweet-beverage consumption (including total, sugar-sweetened, and artificially sweetened soft drink and juice and nectar consumption) and pancreatic cancer risk.
Design: The study was conducted within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. A total of 477,199 participants (70.2% women) with a mean age of 51 y at baseline were included, and 865 exocrine pancreatic cancers were diagnosed after a median follow-up of 11.60 y (IQR: 10.10-12.60 y). Sweet-beverage consumption was assessed with the use of validated dietary questionnaires at baseline. HRs and 95% CIs were obtained with the use of multivariable Cox regression models that were stratified by age, sex, and center and adjusted for educational level, physical activity, smoking status, and alcohol consumption. Associations with total soft-drink consumption were adjusted for juice and nectar consumption and vice versa.
Results: Total soft-drink consumption (HR per 100 g/d: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.99, 1.07), sugar-sweetened soft-drink consumption (HR per 100 g/d: 1.02; 95% CI: 0.97, 1.08), and artificially sweetened soft-drink consumption (HR per 100 g/d: 1.04; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.10) were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Juice and nectar consumption was inversely associated with pancreatic cancer risk (HR per 100 g/d: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.84, 0.99); this association remained statistically significant after adjustment for body size, type 2 diabetes, and energy intake.
Conclusions: Soft-drink consumption does not seem to be associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Juice and nectar consumption might be associated with a modest decreased pancreatic cancer risk. Additional studies with specific information on juice and nectar subtypes are warranted to clarify these results.