November 17, 2005

High colon cancer risk with diabetes confirmed

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Men and women with diabetes are
at increased risk for developing cancer of the colon and
rectum, according to a report from Sweden.

The findings are based on an analysis of data pooled from
15 studies, which included more than 2.5 million subjects.
Most, but not all, studies have shown a link between diabetes
and colon cancer, but some inconsistencies were present,
including whether the association was seen in both men and

Dr. Susanna C. Larsson, from the Karolinska Institute in
Stockholm, and colleagues found that diabetes increased the
risk of colorectal cancer by 30 percent. The results were
similar in US and European studies, the investigators report in
the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Further analysis failed to uncover a significant difference
between men and women. Likewise, diabetes raised the risk of
colon and rectal cancers to a similar extent, by 43 percent and
33 percent, respectively.

"These findings provide evidence for a role of
hyperinsulinemia or factors related to insulin resistance in
colorectal carcinogenesis," the researchers conclude.

"Our results," they add, "have important clinical and
public health implications," especially in light of the
increase in diabetes that is expected with the growing obesity
epidemic in the US and elsewhere.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, November
16, 2005.