(HealthDay News) – Diabetes is linked with a significantly increased risk of death from many diseases, including specific cancers, in both men and women.

Peter T. Campbell, PhD, of the American Cancer Society National Home Office in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 1,053,831 adults in the United States enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study-II who were followed for up to 26 years. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire at baseline, and the association of diabetes with cause-specific mortality was assessed.

The researchers found that women and men with diabetes had an increased risk of all-cause mortality, after controlling for age, body mass index, and other variables (relative risk [RR], 1.90 and 1.73, respectively). Diabetes correlated with increased risk of death from cancers of the liver (RR, 1.40), pancreas (RR, 1.31), endometrium (RR, 1.33), colon (RR, 1.18), and breast (RR, 1.16) for women. For men there was an increased risk of death from cancers of the breast (RR, 4.20), liver (2.26), oral cavity and pharynx (RR, 1.44), pancreas (RR, 1.40), bladder (RR, 1.22), and colon (RR, 1.15). There was an inverse association with prostate cancer (RR, 0.88). Diabetes correlated with increased mortality linked to the circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, genitourinary system, and accidental deaths/external causes.

“In conclusion, the broad range of deaths associated with diabetes in this study reflect the extensive nature of the disease,” the authors write. “These findings support the need for coordinated, multidisciplinary care of men and women with diabetes, including age-appropriate cancer screening and early detection.”

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