- A research team from The University School of Medicine has showed that diabetes influences risk of death due to cancer among Asians.
- The risk of death is increased by 26% among people with diabetes
- The overall influence of diabetes on the risk of death due to cancer was the same in Asian populations as it is in Western populations
Diabetes is found to
be associated with 26% increased the
risk of death due to cancer among Asians, according to a study
published in the journal Diabetologia.
A research team led by Dr. Yu Chen has shown that there is an increased risk of
death due to site-specific cancers.
A research team led by Dr. Yu who is the associate professor of Epidemiology at the University School of Medicine, New York analyzed the relationship between cancers and type 2 diabetes in patients spread across the 7 Asian countries.
Previous studies have shown a relationship between type 2 diabetes and the risk of developing cancer. Such studies have been restricted mostly in Western populations; however, with the increase in incidence in diabetes in Asian countries, there is a need to understand the risk for cancer in these populations. Asians have always shown a greater predisposition towards developing cancer, with an increased susceptibility to insulin resistance, when compared to Europeans. While there have been previous studies conducted on Asians, they suffer from the following roadblock
- Only one or a few types of cancers were included
- Only a small sample of patients with diabetes were included
- Other important risk factors like obesity were not controlled for
- 658,611 East Asians
- 112,686 South Asians from Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Japan, Bangladesh and China
- There was a 26% increase in the risk of death due to any cancer among people with diabetes, including factors like alcohol consumption, body mass index (BMI) and smoking
- There was statistical association between type 2 diabetes and death due to specific cancers
- There was an increased risk of death due to cancers of the breast, bile duct, liver, pancreas and the colorectum, when associated with diabetes
- The risk of death was doubled in cancers of the thyroid, kidney and the liver, when associated with diabetes
- There was 2.7 times increased risk of death due to endometrial cancer when associated with diabetes
- There was 1.7 times increased risk of death due to breast cancer when associated with diabetes
Increased Risk of Death Among AsiansThe risk of death due to site-specific cancers like thyroid, kidney and prostate cancer was higher among Asians than among people of European origin. Moreover, the risk of death due to cancer was found to be greater among participants who were less than 60 years of age.
The scientists involved in the study stated that
- The effect of type 2 diabetes on the risk of death due to overall cancer, breast cancer and digestive cancer was similar to the risk associated with the Western population.
- The enormity of the data analyzed showed that type 2 diabetes should be considered as a serious risk factor for cancer, especially liver cancer which had a high incidence in Asians.
Increase in Body FatThe American Institute of Cancer Research found that hyperinsulinemia, cancer and type 2 diabetes all shared a common high-risk factor- high body fat. A high body fat resulted in hormonal changes which led to an increase in the risk for cancer and for type 2 diabetes. There are many tumors that have insulin receptors and many studies have shown that insulin is important in the development of cancer. However, there is no direct link associated with insulin and cancer. The scientists believe that there could be other pathways that are triggered by insulin in the growth and proliferation of cancer.
Earlier studies show that maintaining an optimum body weight and body fat are essential to lowering risk of diabetes as well as cancer. Since there is a common pathway that triggers diabetes and cancer, lowering the risk factors will lower the risk for both the conditions.
- Yu Chen et al. Association between type 2 diabetes and risk of cancer mortality: a pooled analysis of over 771,000 individuals in the Asia Cohort Consortium, Diabetologia (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00125-017-4229-z
- The Diabetes-Cancer Connection - (http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=13631&news_iv_ctrl=0&abbr=res_)