Periodontal disease (PD) is increasingly recognized as an emerging risk factor for various systemic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The current study examined the association between PD (periodontitis, gingivitis, and others) and pancreatic cancer.
A total of 139,805 subjects with PD and 75,085 subjects without PD were identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to compare the incidence of pancreatic cancer between the 2 groups.
Periodontal disease was positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–2.33). This positive association occurred predominantly among those aged 65 years or older (HR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.03–4.57) and was not observed among those aged younger than 65 years (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.52–1.34). Further analysis showed that PD is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer independent of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, allergies, viral hepatitis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (as a proxy for cigarette smoking), and alcoholic-related conditions (as a proxy for alcohol drinking).
Our results indicated a significantly positive association between PD and risk of pancreatic cancer. The underlying biological mechanisms for the positive association between PD and pancreatic cancer require further investigation.