Type 2 diabetes mellitus and risk of colorectal cancer

Type 2 diabetes mellitus and risk of colorectal cancer

Core note: Previous studies have shown a positive correlation between type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, it is uncertain whether this association varies depending on the duration of T2D or gender. Recently, British Journal of Cancer, a leading journal in the field of cancer, published a research article in which researchers investigated the relationship between T2D and the risk of CRC.

Previous studies have shown a positive correlation between type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, it is uncertain whether this association varies depending on the duration of T2D or gender. Recently, British Journal of Cancer, a leading journal in the field of cancer, published a research article in which researchers investigated the relationship between T2D and the risk of CRC.

The researchers followed 87,523 women from the Nurse Health Study (1980-2012) and 47,240 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2012). At baseline, the data of T2D diagnosed by doctors were collected through questionnaires and updated every two years. Cox regression model is used to estimate multivariate adjusted risk ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

During a 32-year follow-up period, the researchers recorded 3,000 CRC cases. In men, T2D was associated with an increased risk of CRC (HR was 1.42; 95% CI was 1.12-1.81) compared with patients without T2D. This positive correlation persisted in sensitivity analysis by excluding CRC identified within 1 year after the diagnosis of diabetes and T2D patients taking hypoglycemic drugs. In women, there was a positive correlation between T2D and CRC risk, but there was no statistical significance (HR was 1.17; 95% CI was 0.98-1.39).

Thus, the results of this study support that T2D is moderately correlated with the risk of CRC in men, while a weaker but no significant positive correlation was observed in women.

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