Modest increase in risk of specific types of cancer types in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients

Int J Cancer. 2013 Jan 1;132(1):182-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27597. Epub 2012 May 8.


Most studies associated diabetes mellitus (DM) with risk of cancer have focused on the Caucasian population and only a few types of cancer. Therefore, a large and comprehensive nationwide retrospective cohort study involving an Asian population was conducted to evaluate the risk of several major types of cancer among Type 2 DM patients. The study analyzed the nationwide population-based database from 1996 to 2009 released by the National Health Research Institute in Taiwan. Incidence and hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated for specific types of cancer. The overall risk of cancers was significantly greater in the DM cohort [N = 895,434; HR = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.17-1.20], compared with non-DM controls (N = 895,434). Several organs in the digestive and urogenital systems showed increased risk of cancer. The three highest HRs were obtained from cancers of the liver (HR = 1.78, 95% CI = 1.73-1.84), pancreatic (HR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.40-1.65), and uterus and corpus (HR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.22-1.55). The risk increased with age, and men with DM aged ≥ 75 years exhibited the highest risk (HR = 7.76, 95% CI = 7.39-8.15). Subjects with DM in this population have a modest increased risk of cancer, similar to the Caucasian population for several specific types of cancer. Old men with DM have the highest risk of cancer. Careful screening for cancer in DM patients is important for early diagnosis and effective treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Population Groups
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Taiwan / epidemiology