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Letters |

Cigarette Smoking as a Risk Factor for Pancreatic Cancer in Patients With Hereditary Pancreatitis

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD; Patrick Maisonneuve; David C. Whitcomb, MD; Markus M. Lerch, MD; Eugene P. DiMagno, MD
JAMA. 2001;286(2):169-170. doi:10.1001/jama.286.2.169.
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To the Editor: Smoking approximately doubles the risk of pancreatic cancer,1 the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in the United States. In addition, about 5% to 10% of patients have an inherited genetic predisposition to this tumor.2 A large variety of germ-line defects have been detected in families with pancreatic cancer, including the familial pancreatic cancer syndrome, mutations in the BRCA2 gene, the familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma syndrome, the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, and hereditary pancreatitis.

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Figure. Age Distribution of Pancreatic Cancer Cases According to Smoking Status
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Median age (horizontal lines) at onset of cancer: ever smokers, 50 years and never smokers, 70 years (P = .02, Mann-Whitney test).



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