Avoiding, Controlling Diabetes May Lead To Lower Cancer Risk And Mortality

A recent study undertaken may show a possible relationship between diabetes and cancer risk. Results taken from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study revealed that diabetes may be associated with lower prostate cancer risk in men but with higher risks for other types of cancers for both men and women. The said data was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 in Orlando, Florida from April 2 to 6.

According to Gabriel Lai, Ph.D., a cancer prevention fellow at the National Cancer Institute, there are previous studies that have already linked diabetes and an increase risk for a number of cancers including colorectal, liver and pancreas.

Lai and a team of researchers conducted a study that used data taken from more than 500,000 subjects who were predominantly white, non-Hispanic men and women with ages that ranged from 50 to 71 years old. The participants in the study completed questionnaires about their diet, lifestyle and whether they had diabetes from 1995 to 1996. The researchers also followed up the participants for a period of 11 years.

The results of the study showed that diabetes was associated with an 8 percent increased risk of cancer among women while there is a 4 percent decreased cancer risk for men. Previous research has suggested that diabetes may be associated with a decreased cancer risk in men, which the researchers believed may be due to the lower testosterone levels linked to diabetics. After prostate cancer was excluded by the researchers from the evaluation, they saw that diabetes was associated with a 9 percent increased cancer risk in men. When it comes to mortality rates, diabetes was associated with an 11 percent increased risk in women and a 17 percent increased risk in men.

“Our results provide further evidence that abnormal insulin and glucose signaling may contribute to cancer initiation and development,” Lai said. “There are myriad benefits from avoiding diabetes through exercise, diet and maintaining a healthy body weight. Our study confirms additional benefits in the form of reduced morbidity and mortality from certain cancers,” he further added.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research (2011, April 4). Avoiding or controlling diabetes may reduce cancer risk and mortality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 6, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2011/04/110403205230.htm


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