Background: New onset diabetes (NOD) in people 50 years or older may indicate underlying pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The cumulative incidence of PDAC among people with NOD remains uncertain on a population-based level.

Methods: This was a nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study based on the Danish national health registries. We investigated the 3-year cumulative incidence of PDAC in people 50 years or older with NOD. We further characterised people with pancreatic cancer-related diabetes (PCRD) in relation to demographic and clinical characteristics, including trajectories of routine biochemical parameters, using people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) as a comparator group.

Results: During a 21-year observation period, we identified 353,970 people with NOD. Among them, 2105 people were subsequently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within 3 years (0.59%, 95% CI [0.57-0.62%]). People with PCRD were older than people with T2D at diabetes diagnosis (median age 70.9 vs. 66.0 years (P < 0.001) and had a higher burden of comorbidities (P = 0.007) and more prescriptions of medications used to treat cardiovascular diseases (all P < 0.001). Distinct trajectories of HbA1c and plasma triglycerides were observed in PCRD vs. T2D, with group differences observed for up to three years prior to NOD diagnosis for HbA1c and up to two years for plasma triglyceride levels.

Conclusions: The 3-year cumulative incidence of PDAC is approximately 0.6% among people 50 years or older with NOD in a nationwide population-based setting. Compared to T2D, people with PCRD are characterised by distinct demographic and clinical profiles, including distinctive trajectories of plasma HbA1c and triglyceride levels.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)642-649
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Early detection
  • Haemoglobin A1c
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Triglycerides


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