TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers who say they've linked type 2 diabetes with earlier development of precancerous colon lesions recommend people with the blood sugar disorder start colorectal screenings at a younger age than others.
"Based on our data, it implies that people with diabetes should get screenings earlier, possibly at age 40, rather than at age 50," said Dr. Hongha Vu, a clinical gastroenterology fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.
However, another expert said more research is needed before making that recommendation. Also, the researchers cautioned that they can't say for sure that diabetes by itself raises the risk of the precancerous lesions and further study is required.
Experts know that diabetes is linked with an increased risk of colon and other cancers. Vu's team set out to determine if people with diabetes develop precancerous lesions, also called polyps or adenomas, earlier than people without diabetes.
The researchers compared the incidence of polyps in three groups of patients: those 40 to 49 with and without diabetes and those 50 to 59 without diabetes. Each group had 125 people.
All had colonoscopies between June 2005 and June 2011. In a colonoscopy, a doctor examines the large intestine with a long, thin tube that has a camera at the end. Any polyps found are removed so they can't progress to cancer.
The younger men and women with diabetes had a rate of polyps similar to the older people without diabetes, she found.
"We found that between the three groups, the adenoma detection rate in those 40 to 49 without diabetes was 14.4 percent, whereas it was significantly higher in those with diabetes in the same age range -- at 30.4 percent," she said. "This is a similar rate as those 50 to 59 without diabetes." The 50- to 59-year-olds had a rate of 32 percent, she found.
Vu took into account other ris
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