Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Harvey Risch


Objective: Inflammation is a suggested mediator in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Severe acne may be a proxy of inflammation; however, the association between severe acne with pancreatic cancer is unstudied. Here, we explored the association between self-reported severe acne and pancreatic cancer risk for the purpose of hypothesis generation.

Methods: In a hospital-based case-control study, we used information from personal interviews with 939 confirmed cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 440 controls to assess history of teenage and adult acne. We evaluated the association between severe acne and pancreatic cancer risk by estimating adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: After adjusting for age, race, sex, recent body mass index, education, and diabetes, any history of severe acne was not significantly associated with pancreatic cancer risk (adjusted OR ever vs. never=1.42, 95% CI: 0.65, 3.09). Similarly, there were no statistically significant associations with pancreatic cancer risk when specifically examining teenage severe acne (OR=1.60, 95% CI: 0.67, 3.80), adult severe acne (OR=1.23, 95% CI: 0.32, 4.76), or cystic acne (OR=1.37, 95% CI: 0.71, 2.67).

Conclusion: We did not observe statistically significant associations between severe acne and risk of pancreatic cancer. The low prevalence of severe acne in this population limited our ability to detect modest associations. Observed magnitudes of association suggest a possible positive association that warrants follow-up in larger studies.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access