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The association of diabetes with cancer incidence and mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 — Poster Session II

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • G Lai
  • Y Park
  • P Hartge
  • A Hollenbeck
  • A Schatzkin
  • N Freedman


OBJECTIVE: Epidemiologic studies have observed decreased risk between diabetes and prostate cancer, and increased risk between diabetes and other sites, including colorectal, liver, and pancreatic. Yet, the association with other cancers and cancer overall remains unclear. We evaluated the association between self-reported diabetes and cancer in the prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. METHODS: Analyses included nearly half a million men and women. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated from proportional hazards models. RESULTS: We observed an inverse association between diabetes and total incident cancer in men (HR=0.96, 95% CI = 0.93-0.98) and a positive association in women (1.07, 1.02-1.12). Inverse associations in men stemmed from prostate cancer. After excluding prostate cancer, diabetes became positively associated with incident cancer in men (1.09, 1.05-1.13). Diabetes was positively associated with total cancer mortality for men (1.16, 1.10-1.21; including prostate cancer) and women (1.14, 1.05-1.23). By site, diabetes was positively associated with colon, rectal, and liver cancers in both men and women; pancreatic and kidney cancers in men only; and stomach, anal, and endometrial cancers in women only. DISCUSSION: Results suggest a role for diabetes in the etiology of several cancers. Preventing diabetes may contribute to reduced cancer mortality.

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