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Bowel Cancer Risk Higher for Men with Diabetes

Having diabetes apparently raises men’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. Lead investigator Susanna C. Larsson stated that, "Our findings suggest that colorectal cancer may be added to the list of diabetes complications."

Ms. Larsson of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and her colleagues note in the journal Diabetes Care that some, but not all, epidemiological studies have detected an increased risk of colorectal cancer in people with diabetes.

To investigate further, the researchers followed 45,550 men who were enrolled in a population-based study in 1997 when they were 45 to 79 years of age.

During an average follow-up of 6 years, there were 411 cases of colorectal cancers. After factoring in age and other variables, the researchers found that diabetes was associated with a 49 percent higher likelihood of developing both colon and rectal cancer.

These findings, the team concludes, "support the hypothesis" that high insulin levels or factors related to insulin resistance may play a role in triggering colon cancer.
Diabetes Care, July 2005.

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