Background: Despite years of research, the causes of pancreatic cancer have remained largely unknown. Periodontal disease (PD) is an emerging risk factor for various systemic diseases, including cancer. The current study investigated the association between PD (periodontitis, gingivitis, and others) and development of pancreatic cancer.

Methods: Using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan, 139,805 subjects with PD and 75,085 subjects without PD were identified. The association between PD and pancreatic cancer was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: Having PD was associated with a higher pancreatic cancer risk (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-2.33). The higher pancreatic cancer risk associated with PD was observed among those aged 65 years or older (HR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.03-4.57) and but not among those aged younger than 65 years (HR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.52-1.34). Further analysis showed that PD remained an independent risk factor for pancreatic cancer after adjusting for diabetes, hyperlipidemia, allergies, viral hepatitis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, COPD (as a proxy for cigarette smoking) and alcoholic-related conditions (as a proxy for alcohol drinking).

Conclusions: Our analysis showed a significantly positive association between PD and pancreatic cancer risk. Further investigation is needed to explain the underlying biological mechanisms for the positive association between PD and pancreatic cancer.

Citation Format: Jeffrey S. Chang, Chia-Rung Tsai, Yan-Shen Shan, Li-Tzong Chen. The association between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2015 Apr 18-22; Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2015;75(15 Suppl):Abstract nr 871. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-871