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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Taiwan Researchers Find Middle-Aged Taiwanese Adults with Diabetes Have a Greater Risk of Cancer Incidence in a Community-based Cohort

Based on a prospective community-based cohort, the results clearly demonstrate that middle aged individuals of Chinese ethnicity with diabetes have a greater risk of all-cause cancer and specific subtypes of cancer, according to a new study led by Professor Kuo-Liong Chien and his master student, Miss Wei-Sin Yang, at the College of Public Health at National Taiwan University.  This study has been published online on 11 February 2017 in Acta Diabetologica.

[Photo: Prof. Kuo-Liong Chien (left) and Miss Wei-Sin Yang (right)]

“Although the older diabetes population has been more of a concern, cancer incidence in younger adults has significantly increased” said Miss Yang, the first author of the paper who has been involved in this study during her undergraduate level.  This study is the first study based on a Taiwanese community and extensively investigated the occurrence of cancer subtypes.

By analyzing 3602 adults aged 35 years or over (average 54.9 ± 12.3 years, 52.8% women) during 10.5 years, 275 individuals developed cancer, including 157 digestive cancers and 31 urinary cancers. Subgroup analysis showed that younger participants (aged < 55 years) with diabetes had a 3.42-fold the risk for all cancers, 2.88-fold the risk for digestive cancers and 13.4-fold the risk for urinary cancers, compared with individuals in the same age group without diabetes.

The finding of a higher risk in the younger population is of significant interest and requires further discussion. Professor Chien and his colleagues suggested an increased exposure among younger population attributed by potential risk factors linked to poor lifestyle choices and the results highlighted a need for greater awareness among public health workers and physicians of the importance of effective control of diabetes in younger population.