Contrary to popular opinion, hepatitis B doesn't appear to increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, say researchers. However, the overall analysis has revealed that only age is significant predictor for pancreatic cancer.

Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection. "We looked at the incidence of pancreatic cancer among hepatitis B-infected patients over a 13-year period and found that we could not confirm a higher risk for those with a previous exposure to hepatitis B, as a prior study suggested," said Dr Jeffrey Tang, gastroenterologist at Henry Ford Hospital and lead author of the study.

"When other factors are considered - such as age, race, sex, HIV status, and the presence of diabetes - only older age and presence of diabetes proved significant, whereas prior exposure to hepatitis B was no longer an important variable," Tang added.

The study was presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases' Annual Meeting in Boston.

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