Hyperglycaemia is associated with an increased risk of cancer, according to a European study of more than half a million people.

Wednesday, 09/06/2010  |   Liver Cancer, Others  |  no comments

People with diabetes, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, may be at an increased risk of cancer. In this study 549,944 subjects belonged to 6 prospective cohorts from Austria, Norway, and Sweden were recorded. Using data on these individuals, Dr. Tanja Stocks from Umea University in Sweden and colleagues studied the association between blood glucose and risks of incident and fatal cancer. The study enrolled roughly the same number of men and women, and the data were corrected for body mass index, smoking status and random error in glucose levels. The mean age at baseline was 45 years, and the mean follow-up was 10 years.

In the December 2009 PLoS Medicine, the researchers report that in men, each 1 mmol/L (18 mg/dL) increment in blood glucose level was associated with a 5% increase in incident cancer risk and a 15% increase in fatal cancer risk.
In women, each 1 mmol/L increase in blood glucose level was associated with an 11% increase in incident cancer risk and a 21% increase in fatal cancer risk.

For men, there were glucose-related increases in the risks of incident and fatal cancer of the liver, gallbladder, and respiratory tract; incident thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma; and fatal rectal and colon cancer.
For women, there were glucose-related increases in the risks of incident and fatal pancreatic and stomach cancer; incident urinary bladder cancer and endometrial cancer; and fatal cervical and uterine corpus cancer. In women, there was also an inverse association of blood glucose with incident thyroid cancer risk.
For men and women combined, higher glucose increased the risk of death from oropharyngeal and oesophageal cancers.

The results were similar when glucose levels were examined by decile, the researchers note. For example, the absolute risk of incident cancer over a 20-year period for a 50-year-old was 14.0% for men and 12.2% for women with blood glucose levels in deciles 1 to 4, compared with 15.7% for men and 16.7% for women with blood glucose levels in decile 10.

Corresponding risks for cancer death were 5.0% for men and 3.0% for women with decile 1 to 4 blood glucose levels, and 8.8% for men and 6.0% for women with decile 10 blood glucose levels.
“Results from our study and those from the largest study reported to date, on men and women in Korea, were largely congruent and together these studies provide strong evidence that high blood glucose is a risk factor for cancer,” the authors conclude.

International Journal of Clinical Practice. Volume 64 Issue 5, Pp. 628-36

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