Risk of developing cancer increased by prediabetes

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According to a new meta-analysis published in the journal Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the risk of developing cancer is increased by prediabetes. That risk differs depending on the type of cancer. In the study, researchers evaluated 16 studies from Asia, the United States, Europe, and Africa.


The researchers found that prediabetes is linked with a 15% elevated risk of developing cancer overall. They found that the results were similar across age, cancer endpoint, duration of follow-up, and ethnicity. In addition, acknowledging that obesity is also linked to the development of cancer, researchers performed a sensitivity analysis that adjusted for body mass index and found that prediabetes was linked with a 22% increased risk of cancer.


When analyzing specific cancers, researchers found that prediabetes was associated with an increased risk of breast, colorectum, endometrium, liver, pancreas, and stomach cancer, but not linked with bladder, kidney, lung, ovary, or prostate cancer.


Prediabetes refers to a hemoglobin A1C (Hgb A1C) between 5.7% and 6.4%, with diabetes beginning when a patient has a Hgb A1C of 6.5% or higher.

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That risk differs depending on the type of cancer.

A meta-analysis comprising 16 studies and 891,426 participants from various regions of the world shows that prediabetes increases the risk of cancer by 15%, with differing risks depending on the type of cancer. The study, published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) is by Professor Yuli Huang, The First People's Hospital of Shunde, Daliang Town, Shunde District, China, and colleagues.

Prediabetes is a general term that refers to an intermediate stage between normoglycaemia and overt diabetes mellitus. It includes individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or a combination of the two. Results to date from prospective cohort studies investigating the link between prediabetes and risk of cancer are controversial.

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