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Diabetes increases risk of cancer deaths in Asians: Study

PTI | New York |

Asians who have type 2 diabetes may be at 26 per cent increased risk of death from cancers, warns a new study that included data from India, Bangladesh and 19 other countries.

Earlier studies had suggested that at any given body mass index (BMI), Asians are more susceptible to developing insulin resistance, and go on to have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in comparison with people of European extraction.

Researchers from New York University in the US, used data from about 19 cohorts which were further refined, resulting in a study population of 658,611 East Asians and 112,686 South Asians from China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, India and Bangladesh.

Participants averaged 53.9 years of age at the start of a study, and 37,343 cancer deaths were identified during a mean follow-up time of 12.7 years.

A detailed analysis was taken into account to study factors such as sex, age, smoking status and alcohol consumption.

It was found that having T2D led to a 26 per cent increase in the risk of dying from any form of cancer, even when taking into account factors such as BMI, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Statistically significant links between T2D and the risk of death from specific cancers, with data consistent with that reported in Western countries showing increased risk of death from cancers of liver, pancreas, bile duct, colorectum, and breast associated with T2D were found.

The strongest association was observed for cancers of the liver, thyroid and kidney (double the risk in each case), endometrium (2.7 times increased risk) and breast (1.7 times increased risk), relative to individuals who did not have T2D.

"Taken together, given the magnitude of the associations and the consistent data across different studies and populations, T2D should be considered as a risk factor for cancers in Asians, especially for liver cancer which has a high incidence in Asians," said Yu Chen from New York University.

The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.