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Add Cancer to Health Risks of Diabetes: Study
Date:4/4/2011

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes is already linked to a number of complications, but emerging evidence suggests an increased risk of cancer can be added to that list.

A new study found that women with diabetes had an 8 percent increased risk of developing cancer generally, while men with diabetes had a 9 percent higher risk when rates of prostate cancer were excluded from the calculation.

The risk of dying from a cancer was also higher in people with diabetes -- 11 percent greater for women and 17 percent higher in men.

"We used a prospective cohort to evaluate the relationship between diabetes and cancer risk," said the study's lead author, Gabriel Lai, a cancer prevention fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. "Diabetes was associated with an 8 percent increase in cancer risk in women, and there was a similar pattern in men, except for prostate cancer," said Lai.

For reasons that remain unclear, diabetes was actually associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer in men, the study found. When rates of prostate cancer were included in the mix, diabetic men's odds for cancer generally were reduced by 4 percent.

But once the statistics on prostate tumors were factored out, men with diabetes were found to have a 9 percent higher risk for cancer overall, compared to nondiabetic men.

Lai is scheduled to present the study's findings on Sunday at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Orlando, Fla. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The study included data from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study that included 295,287 men and 199,665 women from eight states (California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania).

Diabetes was self-reported by the study participants
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