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Rates Of Colon Cancer Higher In Male Type 2 Diabetics

Posted Nov 03 2010 3:24am
However, a new study suggests that risk is less than previously considered.

A number of studies over the years have found that people with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing colon cancer than those without diabetes. A 2005 "meta-analysis" combining the results of 15 previous studies found that men and women with diabetes were about one-third more likely to develop colon cancer than their diabetes-free counterparts.

However, a few studies since then have found a connection between diabetes and colon cancer among men, but not women.

Keep in mind we're rarely comfortable hearing about the use of a meta-analysis .

The study followed 184,000 "older" American adults for up to 15 years. Type 2 diabetic men were 24 percent more likely to develop colon cancer and those requiring insulin were 36% more likely to develop colon cancer.

That excess risk linked to insulin use was quite small, though, and much less significant than some earlier studies have suggested, the researchers say.

"I think this is actually good news," lead author Peter T. Campbell said of the overall findings, which appear in the current issue of the journal Gastroenterology.

"The association with insulin use was modest," said Campbell, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Together with the
findings from other studies in the past few years, he told Reuters Health, "This
suggests that the association between diabetes and colon cancer among women is starting to disappear."

However, it is not yet clear why that is, according to Campbell.

It is postulated the decrease in risk may be related to general improvement in blood sugar control in diabetics. Interestingly, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that American females with diabetes did show an improvement in HbA1c levels between 1999 and 2004, but men did not. In addition, woman's use of METFORMIN has been greater than men's during that period. Studies have suggested that METFORMIN use does lower cancer risk .

Get all the details by reading the full Reuters article here .

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