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Prediabetes Increases Cancer Risk:Study

Update Date: Sep 10, 2014 02:48 PM EDT

A new study has found that prediabetes increases risk of cancer by as much as 15 percent.

The meta-analysis comprising 16 studies, was done on nearly 900,000 adults across Asia, Europe, USA and Africa. According to Time, the study authors found that adults with prediabetes have an increased risk for liver, stomach, pancreas, breast and endometrium. They also concluded that other types of cancer like prostrate, kidney and ovary had no increased risk due to prediabetes.

Prediabetes is marked by higher blood glucose levels that, not in the diabetic range, but significantly higher than normal averages. High glucose levels puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes. United States Center for Disease Control estimates that diabetes could set in five years. The CDC reported that 86 million people in the US aged over 20 have prediabetes and are unaware of it.

The meta-analysis study's authors said their findings have many explanations. According to Science Daily, a likely explanation is that the chronic oxidative stress results in mounting levels of sugar-based products in the body which could act as carcinogens.

The researchers did not rule out the possibility of increased insulin secretion increasing cancer risk. They said that higher amounts of insulin could cause cancer cells to proliferate. Increased insulin secretion is caused due to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and prediabetic people.

"These findings have important clinical and public health implications. In the US population aged over 18 years, the age-adjusted prevalence of prediabetes increased from 29% in 1999-2002 to 36% in 2007-2010. Many other countries, are also seeing steep rises in the number of people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes," the study's authors reportedly said, Science Daily reports.  

The researchers also found that reducing the Body Mass Index which can lower risk of diabetes, does not lower cancer risk.  Cancer risk remained at 22 percent even after controlling BMI, the study found. 

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