Study results by a Swedish doctor involving more than 65, 000 persons show a positive link between elevated levels of blood sugar and the risk of developing cancer.
Dr. Par Stattin of Umea University Medical Center, Sweden and team, who examined data from 31,304 men and 33,293 women, led the research.
The subjects had previously participated in a larger study and had glucose (blood sugar) measurements available. In total 2,478 cases of cancer were identified in this group.
From the results it was seen that in women, the total cancer risk increased with rising blood sugar levels. The relative risk of cancer was 26 percent higher for women with the highest fasting blood sugar compared with women with the lowest fasting blood sugar.
For both men and women, high fasting glucose was significantly associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas, endometrium, urinary tract and malignant melanoma.
Stattin says the study results " have obvious implications for lifestyle guidance, as it is well known what factors cause blood glucose increases," and that they provide "further evidence for an association between abnormal glucose metabolism and cancer."
Medical professionals have for long, cautioned about elevated blood levels, even those short of levels indicating diabetes. This is referred to as pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which the body has an impaired ability to use glucose. Glucose levels build up in the blood, but don't reach levels needed for a diagnosis of diabetes. It's also known as impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 54 million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says most people with pre-diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. That also puts them at risk for developing heart disease, stroke and other complications of the disease.
People who develop pre-diabetes may be able to reduce their risk for diabetes.
A study by the Diabetes Prevention Program found losing just 5 to 10 percent of body weight and getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day could decrease the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
This is important because research suggests people with pre-diabetes may already be experiencing damage to their blood vessels and heart - even though they haven't yet developed diabetes.