Diabetes Linked to Higher Risk of Blood Cancer

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of developing blood cancer and is an independent risk factor of mortality, according to a new study published in Diabetologia.

Researchers from Toronto, Canada, conducted a population-based observational study to determine the relationship between diabetes and the development of hematological malignancies. They utilized patient information from Canadian healthcare databases to identify adults over the age of 30 years with diabetes and without cancer between 1996 and 2015.

Data on more than one million individuals were included and age and sex matched to more than two million individuals without diabetes. Participants were stratified according to time since diabetes diagnosis (<3 months, 3 months to 1 year, ≥1 year). The primary endpoint was association between diabetes and risk and mortality of leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Individuals with diabetes were found to have a slight but significant increase in risk of malignancy compared to those without diabetes (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.12; P<0.0001). This association was consistent regardless of time since diabetes diagnosis. The investigators also found that diabetes was associated with higher all-cause mortality compared to no diabetes (HR 1.36; 95% CI, 1.31-1.41; P<0.0001).

“Diabetes is associated with a higher risk of hematological malignancies and is an independent risk factor of all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Greater efforts for lifestyle modification may not only reduce diabetes burden and its complications but may also potentially lower risk of malignancy and mortality,” the researchers concluded.