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07/02/2009 - News

High glucose and diabetes increase cancer risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

New research shows that high glucose levels and diabetes are major risk factors for a number of cancers.

Diabetes is becoming increasingly common in many countries around the world, including Korea - the site of a current study. The researchers, based in Seoul, followed a group of over a million participants for ten years and have uncovered a new link between high blood glucose, diabetes and cancer.

Those with the highest blood glucose had higher death rates for all cancers compared to those with the lowest blood glucose. There were also associations for specific cancers - chiefly pancreatic, liver, cervix and esophagus. Similar trends were found for those who had been diagnosed with diabetes.

Of the 26,473 cancer deaths, the researchers attributed 848 to raised blood glucose. It is not clear if these results would generalize to other populations, but further study is warranted. The increase in diabetes could predict a corresponding increase in cases of at least some cancers. The reason for the link is not known. It is unlikely to work through obesity because the Korean population does not, in general, suffer from this problem.

  

Source

Journal of the American Medical Association 12th January 2005 Volume 292 pages 194-202

Created on: 01/13/2005
Reviewed on: 07/02/2009

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