Diabetes Onset After 50 Could Signal Pancreatic Cancer

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Recent-onset type 2 diabetes in older adults may be an early sign of pancreatic cancer, according to a study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Earlier research has linked diabetes to a higher risk for pancreatic cancer. In this study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the researchers found that recent-onset diabetes in African Americans and Latinos was associated with more than double the risk for pancreatic cancer compared to long-standing diabetes. Most people in the study who had diabetes and developed pancreatic cancer were diagnosed with diabetes less than three years before their cancer diagnosis.

The researchers used questionnaires, Medicare data, and California hospital discharge information to identify new diabetes diagnoses between 1993 and 2013. During the 14-year follow-up, 408 people (32.3 percent) developed pancreatic cancer. Of those with diabetes, 52.3 percent of pancreatic cancer patients had been diagnosed with diabetes within the preceding 36 months.

Sourced from: Journal of the National Cancer Institute