Ano is a Justmeans staff writer for health, and an instructional designer for the newly created Master of Health Care Delivery program (mhcds.dartmouth.edu) at Dartmouth College. Ano brings over a decade of evidenced-based health research and writing, and a Masters of Public Health from Dartmouth Medical School to the Justmeans Editorial section. Special interests include health policy, conflict ...
Diabetes may double cancer risk
Researchers have consistently found links between cancer and diabetes, something we mentioned in a recent story here at Justmeans. And now a massive study from Israel has attempted to quantify some of the increased cancer risk that diabetes poses, as well as differentiate the effects in men and women. Diabetes researchers at Tel Aviv University began following a group of over 16,000 diabetics in 2000, none of which had a history of cancer. After 8 years, some 1600 diabetics developed cancers, and the researchers compared the frequency of cancer with a sample of over 83,000 healthy people without diabetes.
Their findings: The greatest risk was in diabetic women, who have roughly double the risk of developing uterine and ovarian cancer than women without diabetes. Fortunately, a woman's overall risk of developing those cancers is relatively low. Other cancers whose incidence in women was increased included cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, gallbladder, and colon. The highest increased risk was with esophageal cancer, at some 16 times increased risk. Fortunately that cancer is exceedingly rare.
And in men? Diabetes did not increase their risks of any cancer, and similar to what was recently found in a large Swedish study, prostate cancer was actually less likely among men with diabetes, nearly 50% less likely in this new study, which was published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control. Its believed that this is due to lower levels of potentially cancer-fueling hormones in men with diabetes.
Reading this story over your morning coffee? Another small diabetes study in animals might enliven your morning brew: Researchers have for the first time identified caffeine as the likely reason why drinking coffee has been linked in several studies to a reduced risk of developing the disease. This study, published in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, found that mice torqued up on coffee were less likely to develop insulin sensitivity or high blood sugar-both of which increase the risk of developing diabetes- compared to non-caffeinated mice.
Photo credit: The author