Washington: According to a global review, women with diabetes are at greater risk of cancer than men.
Researchers from The George Institute for Global Health also found diabetes (type 1 and type 2) conferred an additional risk for women, compared to men, for leukaemia and cancers of the stomach, mouth and kidney, but less risk for liver cancer.
The findings highlight the need for more research into the role diabetes plays in developing cancer. They also demonstrate the increasing importance of sex-specific research.
Lead author Dr Toshiaki Ohkuma, said: “The link between diabetes and the risk of developing cancer is now firmly established. We have also demonstrated for the first time that women with diabetes are more likely to develop any form of cancer, and have a significantly higher chance of developing kidney, oral and stomach cancers and leukaemia.
“The number of people with diabetes has doubled globally in the last 30 years but we still have much to learn about the condition. It’s vital that we undertake more research into discovering what is driving this, and for both people with diabetes and the medical community to be aware of the heightened cancer risk for women and men with diabetes.”
-Women with diabetes were 27 per cent more likely to develop cancer than women without diabetes. For men the risk was 19 per cent higher.
-Researchers also found that diabetes was a risk factor for the majority of cancers of specific parts of the body for both men and women.
-Overall, it was calculated that women with diabetes were six per cent more likely overall to develop any form of cancer than men with diabetes.
-There were significantly higher risks for women with diabetes for developing cancer of the kidney (11 per cent higher), oral cancer (13 per cent higher), stomach cancer (14 per cent higher) and leukaemia (15 per cent higher) compared to men with the condition.
-For liver cancer, the risk was 12 per cent lower for women with diabetes compared to men with diabetes.
Diabetes affects more than 415 million people worldwide, with five million deaths every year.
It is believed that heightened blood glucose may have cancer-causing effects by leading to DNA damage.
The findings appear in the journal Diabetologia.