Glucose control lowers risk of cancer in obese diabetic patients

Written by | 18 Jan 2022 | Endocrine System

Blood glucose control is key to lowering the risk of cancer in obese persons with type 2 diabetes, researchers reported on Dec. 6, 20231 in Diabetes Care.

“What we see is that, among patients with type 2 diabetes, many cancer cases are preventable. These results are an important contribution that enhances our understanding of the connection between glucose control and cancer prevention,” said lead author Kajsa Sjöholm, Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

As background the authors noted that there have been few studies on the association between weight loss, risk of cancer and glucose control in patients with both obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“Although bariatric surgery has been shown to reduce cancer risk in patients with obesity,” they wrote, “the effect of bariatric surgery on cancer risk in patients with obesity and diabetes is less studied. We therefore examined the long-term incidence of cancer after bariatric surgery and usual care in patients with obesity and diabetes in the matched prospective Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study.”

The investigators evaluated data on 701 subjects who had been diagnosed with obesity and type 2 diabetes at the SOS study baseline. Subsequently, 393 had undergone bariatric surgery and 308 had received conventional obesity treatment.

Median follow-up time was 21.3 years.

The researchers obtained Information on cancer events from the Swedish National Cancer Register.

They reported that the incidence rate for first-time cancer was 9.1 per 1,000 person-years in subjects diagnosed with obesity and diabetes who were treated with bariatric surgery, and 14.1 per 1,000 person-years in subjects treated with usual obesity care, a significant difference (P = 0.008).

Diabetes remission at the 10-year follow-up was also associated with a significant reduced cancer incidence (P = 0.003).

The authors concluded, “These results suggest that bariatric surgery prevents cancer in patients with obesity and diabetes and that durable diabetes remission is associated with reduced cancer risk.”

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