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Diabetes Drugs Increase Risk of Cancer

July 5, 2012

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Injections, blood sugar awareness, and constant finger pricking–these are all things someone who suffers from type-2 diabetes has to deal with. Researchers say, now they may have to worry about bladder cancer, too.

An increased risk of bladder cancer is linked to the use of pioglitazone (a type of thiazolidinedione), a medication commonly used to treat type-2 diabetes. People with type-2 diabetes are at risk of several types of cancer, including a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer, compared to people without diabetes.

To determine whether there is a link between pioglitazone use and bladder cancer, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and observational studies involving over 2.6 million patients.

“We observed an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with the use of thiazolidinediones. In particular, use of pioglitazone was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer based on a pooled estimate from three cohort studies involving more than 1.7 million individuals,” Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, School of Public Health, University of Alberta was quoted saying.

“This study quantifies the association between pioglitazone use and bladder cancer and may help inform decisions around safer use of pioglitazone in individuals with type-2 diabetes,” added Dr. Johnson.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal, July 2012




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