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To investigate the clinical impact of body composition on outcomes in advanced pancreatic cancer (APC), we performed a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with APC between 2010 and 2016. The extent of visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, and skeletal muscle was measured using computed tomography (CT) images, together with visceral to subcutaneous adipose tissue area ratio (VSR) and skeletal muscle index (SMI). The effects of these body composition parameters on survival in APC were explored. In total 203 APC patients were enrolled in this study, with a median age of 65 years (range: 31–80 years). The median overall survival (OS) was 9.5 months (95% confidence interval, 7.6–12.4 months). The survival analysis showed that OS in patients with high SMI was significantly longer than those in patients with low SMI (11.1 vs 8.0 months, P < .001). However, when analyzed with VSR, the OS in patients with high VSR was significantly shorter than those in patients with low VSR (8.3 vs 9.4 months, P < .001). Multivariate analyses revealed that ECOG performance status (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.56; P < .001), stage III (HR: 0.63; P = .039), SMI (HR: 0.92; P = .019), VSR (HR: 1.38; P = .005), and skeletal muscle area (HR: 0.95; P = .049) were independent risk factors for mortality. In conclusion, visceral adiposity, as well as low muscle mass and quality, was closely associated with OS of APC. Therefore, evaluating body compositions may be a practical approach for predicting patient prognosis.