Type 2 diabetes more than doubles the likelihood of dying from some cancers. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the Leicester Diabetes Research Center, whose article was published in the journal Diabetologia.
Scientists have studied the data of more than 137 thousand people. On average, each participant was followed for about eight years. Between 1998 and 2018, overall mortality decreased for all age groups. Mortality from type 2 diabetes, however, increased.
The study found that the overall risk of death from cancer was 18% higher with type 2 diabetes. Mortality was 9% higher for breast cancer and 2.4 times higher for colorectal cancer.
An association with type 2 diabetes has previously been shown for some cancers. These include liver, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers. For these types of tumors, the risk of death in the presence of diabetes was twice as high.
The study also noted a 4.1% annual increase in breast cancer mortality among young women with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers believe that long-term exposure to elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation can cause some cancers and potentially make others more deadly.
The paper's authors warn that the number of deaths could increase dramatically if additional measures are not taken to address the obesity epidemic, which is also linked to the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes. Previously, the disease was viewed mainly as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.