July 20, 2018
2 min read

Diabetes increases risk for all cancers by 10%

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Sanne Peters
Sanne Peters

Adults with diabetes have a 10% greater risk for developing any cancer vs. those without diabetes, whereas the disease confers a greater risk for overall and certain site-specific cancers in women vs. men, according to findings from a meta-analysis published in Diabetologia.

“Our study reliably establishes the link between diabetes and the risk of all-site cancer and several site-specific cancers in both women and men; however, women with diabetes were 6% more likely overall to develop any form of cancer than men with diabetes,” Sanne Peters, PhD, a research fellow in epidemiology at The George Institute for Global Health, United Kingdom, told Endocrine Today. “Furthermore, there were significantly higher risks for women with diabetes for developing cancer of the kidney (11% higher), oral cancer (13% higher), stomach cancer (14% higher) and leukemia (15% higher) compared with men with the condition.”

Peters and colleagues analyzed data from 47 observational studies of 121 cohorts with 19,239,302 adults that assessed the association between diabetes and cancer in both women and men. Primary endpoint was all-site cancer events; secondary endpoints were all-site cancer incidence, all-site cancer mortality and site-specific cancer events, site-specific incidence and site-specific mortality. For each study, researchers extracted sex-specific RRs for those with and without diabetes, estimating RR ratios (RRRs) for cancer with vs. without diabetes. Researchers used random-effects meta-analyses to obtain pooled estimates of sex-specific RR across studies and RRRs.

Researchers found that the maximum-available-adjusted pooled sex-specific RR estimates for combined fatal and nonfatal cancer associated with diabetes were 1.27 (95% CI, 1.21-1.32) for women and 1.19 (95% CI, 1.13-1.25) for men. Researchers also observed that women with diabetes had a 6% greater risk for cancer vs. men with diabetes, with a pooled women-to-men RRR of 1.06 (95% CI, 1.03-1.09).

For all-site cancer incidence, the pooled RRR was 1.1 (95% CI, 1.07-1.13), whereas the pooled RRR for all-site cancer mortality was 1.03 (95% CI, 0.99-1.06).

Additionally, the pooled maximum-available-adjusted RRR was higher in women with diabetes vs. men with diabetes for kidney cancer (RRR = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04-1.18), oral cancers (RRR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1-1.28), stomach cancer (RRR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.07-1.22) and leukemia (RRR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.28); however, risk was lower for liver cancer in women vs. men (RRR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.79-0.99), according to researchers.

“Our findings highlight the need for more research into the role diabetes plays in developing cancer,” Peters said. “They also demonstrate the increasing importance of sex-specific research and suggest that sex differences in the risk of cancer conferred by diabetes need to be considered in clinical practice.” – by Regina Schaffer

For more information:

Sanne Peters, PhD, can be reached at The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, Le Gros Clark Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QX, United Kingdom; email: sanne.peters@georgeinstitute.ox.ac.uk.

Disclosures: Peters reports no relevant financial disclosures. One of the study authors reports he is a consultant for Amgen.