Diets, Dietary Patterns, Single Foods and Pancreatic Cancer Risk: An Umbrella Review of Meta-Analyses

Vincenza Gianfredi, Pietro Ferrara*, Monica Dinu, Mariateresa Nardi*, Daniele Nucci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Pancreatic cancer (PC) represents the third leading cause of cancer death in 2020. Despite the fact that, in 2018, the World Cancer Research Fund report concluded that there is still a lack of evidence on the role of foods or diets and risk for PC, a flourishing body of evidence has been published and needs to be analyzed. For this reason, we conducted an umbrella review on the association between different dietary patterns/food components and PC. Data sources PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Collaboration were searched. The Joanna Briggs Institute Umbrella Review Methodology was used. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO. A total of 23 articles were included, covering a wide range of dietary patterns/food components: healthy/prudent dietary patterns (n = 4), Mediterranean diets (MedDiet) (n = 1), plant-based diets (n = 2), the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) (n = 2), western diets (n = 2), and, lastly, unhealthy diets (n = 2). Regarding dietary components, the following were assessed: total fruit (n = 2), citrus fruit (n = 1), total vegetables (n = 2), cruciferous vegetables (n = 1), red meat (n = 6), processed meat (n = 4), poultry (n = 2), eggs (n = 1), fish (n = 5), whole grain (n = 2), potato (n = 1), and nuts (n = 2). The methodological quality of the included meta-analyses was generally low or critically low. Although the strength of evidence was generally weak, convincing or suggestive evidence was found for a healthy/prudent, plant-based diet, fruit and vegetables, and lower risk of PC, whereas a high intake of red meat was associated with a higher risk of PC at a convincing level of evidence. Further studies are needed to confirm the role of the other dietary patterns/food components and the risk of PC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14787
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2022


  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Pancreas
  • Vegetables
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms/epidemiology

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