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Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Type 2 Diabetes Patients Can Add Cancer of the Blood to Their List of Worries

Researchers say preventing diabetes can lower the incidence of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma

Jorge Castillo, M.D., a hematologist/oncologist with The Miriam Hospital - see video below

June 5, 2012 - Patients with type 2 diabetes have a 20 percent increased risk of developing blood cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma, according to a new meta-analysis led by researchers at The Miriam Hospital. The findings, published online in the journal Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, add to the growing evidence linking diabetes and certain types of cancer.

“I think when most people think about diabetes-related illnesses, they think of heart disease or kidney failure, but not necessarily cancer,” said lead author Jorge Castillo, M.D., a hematologist/oncologist with The Miriam Hospital.

“But when you consider that more than 19 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes – not to mention the millions more who are either undiagnosed or will be diagnosed in the future – a 20 percent increased risk of blood cancer is quite significant.”

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Heart Disease, Stroke Deaths Drop for People with Diabetes: Often Seniors

Healthier lifestyles, better disease management are helping people live longer; Among U.S. seniors 65 and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9% had diabetes in 2010. - May 23, 2012

Links to more archived stories on diabetes below news story.


 
 

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While diabetes has been previously associated with other types of cancer, such as liver and pancreatic cancer, there have been few connections to blood cancers. Researchers are still unclear what causes the vast majority of these malignancies, which include cancers of the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes and affect more than 100,000 Americans each year.

Castillo and colleagues analyzed 26 previously published research articles on the association between type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – and the incidence of lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. The meta-analysis included more than 17,000 cases of type 2 diabetes and blood cancer worldwide.

They concluded patients with type 2 diabetes have increased odds of developing leukemia, myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as a subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma known as peripheral T-cell lymphoma. They did not find any associations with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Interestingly, researchers also say the odds of lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma appear to differ depending on the geographic region of the original report. For example, the odds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma were higher in Asia and Europe, while there was an increased leukemia risk in the United States and Asia.

Although the study did not identify a cause for any of these associations, the findings suggest type 2 diabetes could be associated with approximately five percent of all incidents of leukemia, myeloma non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“It’s important to remember that type 2 diabetes can, to some degree, be prevented and controlled through lifestyle modification, such as diet and exercise,” Castillo said. “So by preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, we could also prevent blood cancer.”

The researchers say additional studies are needed to explain the potential relationship between type 2 diabetes and blood cancers. In particular, Castillo believes future research should focus on the role of behavioral factors like obesity, physical activity and smoking, which have been linked to both diabetes and cancer.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health under award number UL1RR025752, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and The Marilyn Fishman Grant for Diabetes Research from the Endocrine Fellows Foundation. Study co-authors include Nihkil Mull, M.D., John L. Reagan, M.D., and Saed Nemr, M.D., from The Miriam Hospital and Joanna Mitri, M.D., from Tufts Medical Center.


Links to Archived Reports on Diabetes

Should YOU be tested for diabetes?

Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and overweight-see the BMI chart -getting tested is strongly recommended. If you are younger than 45, overweight, and have one or more of the risk factors, you should consider getting tested. Ask your doctor for a fasting blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test. Your doctor will tell you if you have normal blood glucose, prediabetes, or diabetes.

   ● Among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010.

   ● Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages - 8.3 percent of the U.S. population
       > DIAGNOSED - 18.8 million people
       ●> UNDIAGNOSED - 7.0 million people

   ● About 215,000 people younger than 20 years had diabetes—type 1 or type 2—in the United States in 2010.

   ● About 1.9 million people ages 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 in the United States.

   ● In 2005–2008, based on fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1C (A1C) levels, 35 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 years or older had prediabetes - 50 percent of adults ages 65 years or older. Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an estimated 79 million American adults ages 20 years or older with prediabetes.

   ● Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.

   ● Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

   ● Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Older Adults with Diabetes Live Long Enough to Benefit from Interventions

‘…with the exception of patients over age 76 with the poorest health status, all showed strong survival rates’ - U-M study - May 2, 2012


Lifestyle Changes Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk 58%; Highly Effective for Seniors

Over 10 years, the lifestyle and metformin interventions resulted in health benefits and reduced the costs of inpatient and outpatient care and prescriptions…

March 22, 2012


Diabetes Drug TAX-875 Improves Glucose Control Without Increasing Hypoglycemia

Researchers say it is as effective as glimepiride with lower risk of drop in blood sugar - good news for about 11 million seniors with type 2 diabetes

Feb. 27, 2012


Older Women with Diabetes Have Greater Hearing Loss as They Age

Men lose even more hearing regardless of diabetes or age; women lose less if diabetes controlled

Jan. 26, 2012


Statins of Any Kind May Increase Risk of Diabetes in Postmenopausal Women

Researchers say current recommendations by diabetes association nor statin guidelines should change - Jan. 10, 2012


Diabetes Drugs, Blood Thinners Cause 2/3 of Senior Citizen Adverse Events, Hospitalizations

Almost half of cases are in elderly aged 80 plus; overdoses, stronger than expected effect most common causes - Nov. 26, 2011


Raising 'Good' Cholesterol Reduces Heart Attack, Stroke Risk in Diabetes Patients

And, risks of heart attack and stroke increase when 'good' cholesterol levels go down - Oct. 7, 2011


Dieting Beats Exercise for Diabetes Prevention in Older Women, Combo Is Best

Strengthening exercise appears to have greater benefits for insulin resistance than aerobic exercise - Sept. 2, 2011


Older Diabetes Patients with Very Low Glucose Have Slightly Higher Risk of Death

Well controlled blood sugar level lowers risk of heart attack, amputation, kidney disease - April 18, 2011


Senior Citizens Lead the Way as Diabetes Spreads to 26 Million in New U.S. Estimate

Estimates in U.S. have risen since CDC estimated in 2008 that 23.6 million (7.8) had diabetes and 57 million adults had prediabetes - Jan. 27, 2011


Older Women with Diabetes and Depression Have Twice the Risk of Death

Both problems linked to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle - Jan. 3, 2011


Fat Distribution Plays Key Role in Weight Loss Success in Patients at Risk of Diabetes

‘Abdominal and liver fat are the two most important factors in predicting whether a lifestyle intervention will be successful’

Aug. 24, 2010


An Old Antibiotic Appears to Reduce Stroke Risk, Injury for Diabetics

Almost 70% of Americans dying with diabetes found to show a major vascular event such as a stroke or heart attack as a cause of death

Aug. 23, 2010


Getting Fat After Age 50 Greatly Increases Diabetes Risk that Already Escalates for Seniors

‘Participants with a greater than 4 inch increase in waist size from baseline to the third follow-up visit had a 70 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes…’

June 22, 2010


Study Pinpoints Atrial Fibrillation Risk at 40 Percent for Those with Diabetes, Maybe Higher

Nearly nine in 100 people over age 80 - have atrial fibrillation; risk rises by 3% for each additional year patients have diabetes – watch video

April 23, 2010


Considering Type 2 Diabetes Treatment, Experts Say 1 Size Does Not Fit All

International group recommends individualized therapies; Almost one of every four senior citizens has diabetes

April 5, 2010


Senior Women at High Risk of Bone Fractures After Taking Diabetes Drugs Avandia or Actos

TZDs have previously been linked to bone loss, increasing fracture risk; type 2 diabetes and insulin also increase risk for fractures

Feb. 10, 2010


Victoza (liraglutide) Gets FDA Approval as New Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Seniors aged 60 with type 2 diabetes are about one-third of all adults with this chronic disease

Jan. 27, 2010


Harvard Scientists Move Closer to Correcting Cellular Defects That Lead to Diabetes

Report says the G6PD protein, which produces essential antioxidant NAPDH, could prevent the death of pancreatic beta cells, the root cause of diabetes

Jan. 4, 2010


Seniors May Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by Half with More Exercise, Less Weight

Modest weight loss or taking anti-diabetic drug for 10 years lowers risk of type 2 diabetes in high risk people of all ages

Nov. 2, 2009


Diabetes Patients May Have Wrong Idea About Taking Insulin: Should be Front-Line Defense

Common fears of weight gain, developing low blood-sugar, decline in quality of life are largely unfounded, researchers find

Aug. 11, 2009

 

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