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Monday, January 04, 2010

High blood sugar linked to cancer risk

High blood sugar linked to cancer risk

A new study warns that high levels of blood su gar could elevate the risk of developing cancer in both men and women, with women being more susceptible to the illness

Findings of the study suggest those who have increased levels of glucose in their blood are not only prone to cancer but also likely to die of the disease.
Lead researcher Dr Tanja Stock said, “The results suggest that, for women, the higher the level of sugar in the blood, the higher the risk. For men, there was still an association, but it was weaker."

Study details
To reach this conclusion, researchers from the Umea University in Sweden, carried out a study on 2,74,126 men and 2,75,818 women from Norway, Austria and Sweden. The average age of the participants was 44 years.
For the study, researchers examined the blood sugar levels of all the participants who were followed for 10 years.
During the follow-up period, the researchers continued keeping the medical record of subjects on how many of them developed cancer as well as died of the illness.

Cancer risk linked to high blood sugar levels
Analysis of the data revealed noteworthy associations between those who had high blood sugar levels and cancer development.

"Significant increases in risk among men were found for incident and fatal cancer of the liver, gallbladder, and respiratory tract, for incident thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma, and for fatal rectal cancer,” the study authors said.

"In women, significant associations were found for incident and fatal cancer of the pancreas, for incident urinary bladder cancer, and for fatal cancer of the uterine corpus, cervix uteri and stomach," they added.

High blood sugar levels, not the sole risk factor
Regardless of the findings, the researchers claimed that increased blood sugar levels may not be the only factor triggering cancer tumor growth. There could be other risk factors responsible for cancer development, they said.
Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said, “It would be wrong to conclude that high blood glucose levels alone are causing the increase in cancer cases and deaths. Nor can we say that, by controlling blood glucose levels alone, we could lower the risk of cancer."

The study appears in the 'Public Library of Science Medicine' journal.

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