Women's High Blood Sugar Linked To Increased Colorectal Cancer Risk

A new study suggests that high blood sugar levels in women are also linked to higher colorectal cancer risk. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City analyzed data collected from 5,000 post-menopausal women and found some evidence that older women with high blood sugar levels are at more risk from colorectal cancer than those who did not. The study findings were published in the November 29 issue of the British Journal of Medicine.

The researchers gathered and analyzed data from participants of the Women’s Health Initiative Study. The data covered 5,000 post-menopausal women checked for a period of 12 years. The women’s fasting blood sugar and insulin levels were measured and taken at the onset of the study and were checked several times thereafter during the period of the study.

The researchers found out that the women who had elevated glucose levels during the start of the study were more likely to develop colorectal cancer. Those with glucose levels belonging to the highest third were twice more likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who belonged to the lowest third.

Colorectal cancer is considered as the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cancer causing deaths in the US. Obesity, which is accompanied with higher glucose and insulin levels, has long been known as a common risk factor for colorectal cancer. It was widely assumed that colorectal cancer risk is associated with obesity due to high insulin levels. But the researchers suggest that it may be the high glucose levels in the blood that may be more to blame.

According to Geoffrey Kabat, senior epidemiologist at Albert Einstein College and lead author of the study, “The next challenge is to find the mechanism by which chronically elevated blood glucose levels may lead to colorectal cancer. It’s possible that elevated glucose levels are linked to increased blood levels of growth factors and inflammatory factors that spur the growth of intestinal polyps, some of which later develop into cancer.”

Source: Every Health


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