Type 1 diabetes was associated with differences in the risk for developing several common cancers, including gastric, liver, pancreatic, endometrial, and renal cancers, a study published in the journal Diabetologia has shown.1

Previous research has demonstrated that persons with diabetes, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, have a 20% to 25% increased risk for developing cancer. For this study, researchers sought to assess the association between type 1 diabetes and cancer incidence.

Researchers analyzed data from people with type 1 diabetes included in 5 nationwide diabetes registries in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Scotland, and Sweden. A total of 9149 cancers were identified among all patients.

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Results showed risk for overall cancers among men (HR, 1.01; 95% CI: 0.98-1.04) was not increased, and risk among women (HR, 1.07; 95% CI: 1.04-1.10) was minimally increased.

However, researchers observed an increased risk for specific cancers in patients with diabetes. Risks were higher for stomach (men: HR, 1.23; women: HR, 1.78), liver (men: HR, 2.00; women: HR, 1.55), pancreatic (men: HR, 1.53; women: HR, 1.25), endometrial (HR, 1.42) and kidney (men; HR, 1.30; women: HR, 1.47) cancers.

In contrast, the study demonstrated that prostate (HR, 0.56) and breast (HR, 0.90) cancers were less likely to occur in patients with type 1 diabetes.

The study also demonstrated that risks for developing cancers declined as the duration of having diabetes increased.


1. Carstensen B, Read SH, Friis S, et al. Cancer incidence in persons with type 1 diabetes: a five-country study of 9,000 cancers in type 1 diabetic individuals [published online ahead of print February 29, 2016]. Diabetologia. doi:10.1007/s00125-016-3884-9.