Pre-diabetes may increase risk of cancer, new study suggests

Foshan, China – In addition to increasing the risk of diabetes development, pre-diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cancer, according to a new study out of China.

In an analysis of 16 studies featuring nearly 900,000 participants, researchers from the First People’s Hospital’s Clinical Medicine Research Center found that pre-diabetes increased the risk of patients developing cancer by 15 percent. Liver, endometrial and stomach/colorectal cancers had the highest association with pre-diabetes.

Although pre-diabetes is linked to obesity and being overweight, which are cited as a risk factor for cancer, some of the studies the researchers analyzed adjusted for body mass index. In those studies, pre-diabetes was still associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Pre-diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but lower than in a diabetes diagnosis. About 86 million people 20 or older in the United States are estimated to have pre-diabetes, and it is becoming more common, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The analysis was published online Sept. 8 in the journal Diabetologia.