Early diagnosis and curative resection are significant predictors of survival in patients with pancreatic cancer. We hypothesize that cholecystectomy within 12 months of pancreatic cancer affects 1-year survival. The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Result (SEER) database linked to Medicare data was used to identify patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer who underwent cholecystectomy 1 to 12 months prior to cancer diagnosis. The SEER database identified 32,569 patients from 1995 to 2002; 415 (1.3%) underwent cholecystectomy prior to cancer diagnosis. Patients who underwent cholecystectomy had a higher proportion of diabetes (40.2% vs 20.5%; P < 0.01), obesity (8.9% vs 3.1%; P < 0.01), jaundice (17.3% vs 0.7%; P < 0.01), cholelithiasis (70.4% vs 4.2%; P < 0.01), choledocholithiasis (0.7% vs 0.0%; P < 0.01), weight loss (17.3% vs 4.7%; P < 0.01), abdominal pain (79.5% vs 22.5%), steatorrhea (0.7% vs 0.0%; P < 0.01), and cholecystitis (32.3% vs 1.7% ; P < 0.0001). After controlling for tumor stage, patient demographics, and symptoms, survival at 1 year was significantly lower in patients undergoing cholecystectomy (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.58-0.97). Recent cholecystectomy is associated with decreased 1-year survival among patients with pancreatic cancer. For patients older than 65 years of age, further evaluation prior to cholecystectomy may be necessary to exclude pancreatic cancer, especially patients with jaundice, weight loss, and steatorrhea.