Prediabetes may raise cancer risk

New research has found that risk of developing cancer may be higher in people with prediabetes--a precursor to diabetes characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels.

Scientists reviewed 16 different studies previously conducted in Asia, the U.S., Europe and Africa that involved about 900,000 participants. They found that individuals who had prediabetes had about a 22 percent higher risk of developing cancer when compared with those without prediabetes. The individuals with prediabetes were 50 percent more likely to develop stomach or colon cancer, 20 percent more likely to develop breast cancer and 60 percent more likely to develop endometrial cancer.

The researchers explained that people with high blood sugar levels have increased resistance to the hormone insulin, which may result in the secretion of certain proteins that promote cancer cell growth. They said that genetic variations may also play a role in a person's risk of developing both prediabetes and cancer.

The findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, encouraged people with high blood sugar levels to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to lower risk of progression to diabetes, as well as the development of cancer.

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Sourced from: LiveScience, Prediabetes Linked to Higher Risk of Cancer, Study Finds