A study published today in the American Gastroenterological Associations journal Gastroenterology concludes that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who require long-term insulin therapy are at a significantly increased risk for colorectal cancer.
Results of this retrospective cohort study, conducted on 24,918 people with type 2 diabetes, suggest that those who received more than three years of insulin therapy during the follow-up period of the study have more than three times the risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who did not receive insulin therapy.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is at epidemic proportions and many patients will eventually require insulin therapy to manage their disease. "It is yet to be determined whether the increased risk of colorectal cancer is due to a growth promotional effect of exogenous insulin, the severity of type 2 diabetes mellitus, or both," said Dr. Yu-Xiao Yang, lead study author. "However, we are hopeful that the identification of this group of patients at a significantly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer will lead to more effective cancer prevention efforts."
Kimberly Wise | EurekAlert!
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