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Am J Epidemiol. 1992 Nov 1;136(9):1110-4.

Post-challenge glucose concentration, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes, and cancer mortality in men.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, England.


The possibility that diabetes is associated with an elevated risk of cancer mortality has been discussed for many years. Recently, Levine et al. (Am J Epidemiol, 1990; 131:254-62) approached this issue by relating post-load plasma glucose concentration to cancer mortality. For men, there appeared to be a positive association between post-load glucose and mortality from cancer for all sites combined and for some specific sites. However, that analysis was based on only 298 cancer deaths among 11,521 men followed for 12 years. The current authors explored this issue in a cohort of 18,274 male civil servants, among whom there were 1,282 cancer deaths over 18-20 years of follow-up. There was no association between post-load glucose and cancer mortality, except for pancreatic cancer. A role for asymptomatic hyperglycemia in the etiology of cancer is not supported by the results of the present study.

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