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 23 February 2018

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News

Type 2 diabetes is associated with pancreatic cancer

Research in the latest British Journal of Cancer shows a modest association between type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

News image

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Pancreatic cancer is the 8th major form of cancer-related death worldwide, causing 227,000 deaths annually.

Type 2 diabetes is widely considered to be associated with pancreatic cancer.

Those recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have 50% greater risk than those diagnosed more than 5 years
British Journal of Cancer

It is unclear whether this represents a causal or consequential association.

Dr Huxley and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of computer-based literature reported between 1996 and 2005 to examine this association.

The researchers obtained 17 case-control and 19 cohort or nested case-control studies with data on 9220 individuals with pancreatic cancer.

The researchers found that the age and sex-adjusted odds ratio for pancreatic cancer associated with type 2 diabetes was obtained from each study.

The research team noted that the combined summary odds ratio was 1.8.

The team observed evidence of heterogeneity across the studies that was explained, in part, by higher risks being reported by smaller studies and studies that reported before 2000.

Individuals in whom diabetes had only been diagnosed within the last 4 years had a 50% greater risk of the malignancy compared with individuals who had diabetes for 5 years.

Dr Huxley's team concludes, “These results support a modest causal association between type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer.”

Br J Canc 2005: 92: 2076-83
02 June 2005

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