Glycemic Changes and Weight Loss Precede Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma by up to 3 Years in a Diverse Population

Marlon J. Brewer, John T. Doucette, Ariel Bar-Mashiah, Jacob W. Glickman, Elizabeth Kessel, Anne Aronson, Aimee L. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Elevations in fasting blood glucose are observed prior to the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Our aim was to describe glycemic and weight changes that occur prior to PDAC diagnosis in a diverse population. Methods: We conducted a case-control study comparing patients with PDAC with matched controls between January 2011 and November 2019 at a tertiary care institution. Normally distributed variables were compared using t tests, and the Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for non-normally distributed variables; logistic regression was used to estimate odds of PDAC based on changes over time in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and body mass index (BMI), controlling for appropriate confounders. Results: A total of 4626 patients met inclusion criteria: 1542 cases and 3084 controls; the median age was 69.3 years, and 2487 (53.8%) were male; 751 cases (48.7%) were non-Hispanic white. In the 3 years prior to diagnosis, HbA1c was higher in patients with PDAC compared with controls (P ≤.02 for all); a similar trend was seen for glucose values. BMI was greater for patients with PDAC for all study periods, except 0 to 6 months prior to cancer diagnosis when BMI was lower (P <.01 for all). The change in BMI (ΔBMI) of cases at 1 year and 6 months before diagnosis was −0.59 and −1.21 when compared with −0.08 and 0.03 for controls (P <.01 for both). Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated that HbA1c slope (adjusted odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.76) and BMI slope (adjusted odds ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, 0.65–0.87) were predictors of PDAC. Conclusion: Glycemic elevations and weight loss predate PDAC diagnosis. These metabolic changes may suggest an underlying PDAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1111.e2
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Metabolic Changes
  • Pancreatic Diabetes
  • Pancreatogenic diabetes
  • Type 3c diabetes


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