Studies have shown an association between diabetes and cancer in Western countries; but this, as well as the influence of associated metabolic factors, must be confirmed by a prospective study in other population groups. This study aimed to investigate whether the strong association of cancer and diabetes is independent from the influence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and gout in the Taiwanese population. A total of 985,815 study subjects were identified from the National Health Insurance in 1997 and followed up from 1998 to 2009. The demographic characteristics between patients with diabetes and cancer, including age, sex, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and gout, were analyzed using the χ(2) test. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to determine the independent effects of diabetes on the risks of cancer. A total of 104,343 diabetic patients were followed up from 1998 to 2009. After adjusting for sex, age, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and gout, the incidences of cancer at any site and in the liver, colon, lungs, and prostate in diabetic patients were independently higher, with risk ratios of 1.56 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43-1.71), 1.67 (95% CI, 1.39-2.01), 1.75 (95% CI, 1.49-2.06), 1.54 (95% CI, 1.26-1.88), and 1.56 (95% CI, 1.19-2.04), respectively. Only breast cancer did not show any clinical significance. There was an increased incidence of cancer at any site in the diabetic patients compared with nondiabetic subjects. The most common cancers were liver, colon, lung, breast, and prostate cancer; and except for breast cancer, their incidences increased independently of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and gout in patients with diabetes.
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