In addition, no risk of cancer was noted among patients who switched from another long-acting insulin to glargine or in people who started on glargine first, Habel said.
But, these findings are based on short-term use of the drugs -- median duration was less than 1.5 years -- and she said additional follow-up is needed to evaluate cancer risk over the long-term. Cancer can take years to decades to develop, Habel noted.
In another trial, researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) looked at the risk of cancer in more than 52,000 people taking glargine or NPH.
Over two years of follow-up, the researchers found no association between either form of insulin and the risk for any cancer.
The UNC team used data from the Northern European Study of Insulin and Cancer, which included more than 447,000 patients, and found no spike in cancer risk for glargine or any other insulin.
"There was absolutely no association at all between the risk of cancer and any form of insulin," researcher Peter Boyle, president of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, said during a Monday press conference. The researchers had looked for risk of all cancers, plus risks for cancers of the breast, lung, pancreas, lung, colon and prostate.
"There was absolutely no causal association," he added.
In yet another study, Dr. Hertzel Gerstein, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues found no raised risk of cancer or heart disease in a study of insulin involving more than 12,500 participants.
"At the end of the day, the study showed that one injection of insulin a day had a neutral effect on heart attacks, strokes and deaths. In addition, it had no effect on other outcomes like cancers," Gerstein said.
No protective effects on cardiovascular health or cancer were seen from insulin either, according to the report, published in the Ju
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