Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 1213–1222 | Cite as

Height and pancreatic cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

  • Dagfinn Aune
  • Ana Rita Vieira
  • Doris Sau Man Chan
  • Deborah A. Navarro Rosenblatt
  • Rui Vieira
  • Darren C. Greenwood
  • Janet E. Cade
  • Victoria J. Burley
  • Teresa Norat
Review article



Greater height has been associated with increased risk of several cancers, but epidemiological data on height and pancreatic cancer are inconclusive. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies to clarify these results.


PubMed and several other databases were searched up to September 2011. Prospective studies of height and pancreatic cancer were included. Summary relative risks were estimated by the use of a random effects model.


We identified twelve cohort studies that were included in the meta-analysis. The summary RR per 5-cm increase in height was 1.07 (95 % CI: 1.03–1.12, I 2 = 57 %). The results were similar among men and women. The summary estimate was attenuated when we included results from two pooled analyses together with these studies, summary RR = 1.03 (95 % CI: 1.00–1.07, I 2 = 44 %).


This meta-analysis of cohort studies provides further evidence that greater adult attained height is associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk. However, given the unexplained heterogeneity, further studies are needed before a conclusion can be drawn.


Height Pancreatic cancer The Continuous Update Project Systematic review Meta-analysis 



We thank the systematic literature review team at the University of Leeds for their contributions to the pancreatic cancer database. This work was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (grant number 2007/SP01) as part of the Continuous Update Project. The views expressed in this review are the opinions of the authors. They may not represent the views of WCRF International/AICR and may differ from those in future updates of the evidence related to food, nutrition, physical activity, and cancer risk. The sponsor of this study had no role in the decisions about the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, or the interpretation of the data; or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10552_2012_9983_MOESM1_ESM.doc (30 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 30 kb)
10552_2012_9983_MOESM2_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dagfinn Aune
    • 1
  • Ana Rita Vieira
    • 1
  • Doris Sau Man Chan
    • 1
  • Deborah A. Navarro Rosenblatt
    • 1
  • Rui Vieira
    • 1
  • Darren C. Greenwood
    • 2
  • Janet E. Cade
    • 3
  • Victoria J. Burley
    • 3
  • Teresa Norat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthImperial College LondonPaddington, LondonUK
  2. 2.Biostatistics Unit, Centre for Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  3. 3.School of Food Science and NutritionUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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