OBJECTIVE: Prior studies identified clinical factors associated with increased risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, little is known regarding their time-varying nature, which could inform earlier diagnosis. This study assessed temporality of body mass index (BMI), blood-based markers, comorbidities and medication use with PDAC risk . DESIGN: We performed a population-based nested case-control study of 28 137 PDAC cases and 261 219 matched-controls in England. We described the associations of biomarkers with risk of PDAC using fractional polynomials and 5-year time trends using joinpoint regression. Associations with comorbidities and medication use were evaluated using conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: Risk of PDAC increased with raised HbA1c, liver markers, white blood cell and platelets, while following a U-shaped relationship for BMI and haemoglobin. Five-year trends showed biphasic BMI decrease and HbA1c increase prior to PDAC; early-gradual changes 2-3 years prior, followed by late-rapid changes 1-2 years prior. Liver markers and blood counts (white blood cell, platelets) showed monophasic rapid-increase approximately 1 year prior. Recent diagnosis of pancreatic cyst, pancreatitis, type 2 diabetes and initiation of certain glucose-lowering and acid-regulating therapies were associated with highest risk of PDAC. CONCLUSION: Risk of PDAC increased with raised HbA1c, liver markers, white blood cell and platelets, while followed a U-shaped relationship for BMI and haemoglobin. BMI and HbA1c derange biphasically approximately 3 years prior while liver markers and blood counts (white blood cell, platelets) derange monophasically approximately 1 year prior to PDAC. Profiling these in combination with their temporality could inform earlier PDAC diagnosis.
cancer epidemiology, pancreatic cancer