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J Diabetes Investig. 2014 May 4;5(3):297-304. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12178. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Fasting serum insulin levels and insulin resistance are associated with colorectal adenoma in Koreans.

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  • 1Health Screening and Promotion Center Asan Medical Center Seoul Korea.
  • 2Division of Gastroenterology Department of Internal Medicine University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul Korea.
  • 3Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism Department of Internal Medicine University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul Korea.



Insulin has been associated with the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, few studies have evaluated the association between insulin and colorectal adenoma. We investigated the relationship between fasting serum insulin levels or homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and colorectal adenoma.


We retrospectively enrolled 15,427 participants who underwent both fasting serum insulin measurement and colonoscopy for a routine health examination at Asan Medical Center from January 2007 to December 2008. Participants with a history of any cancer, previous colectomy or polypectomy, those taking antidiabetic medications, and inflammatory bowel disease, non-specific colitis, non-adenomatous polyps only or CRC on colonoscopic findings were excluded. Finally, 3,606 participants with histologically confirmed colorectal adenoma and 6,019 controls with no abnormal findings on colonoscopy were included. Participants were categorized into quartiles (Q) based on fasting serum insulin levels and HOMA-IR.


Fasting serum insulin and HOMA-IR were significantly higher in participants with colorectal adenomas compared with controls. Multivariate regression analysis adjusting for age, sex, smoking habits, drinking habits and family history of CRC showed that participants with higher quartiles of fasting serum insulin levels (odd ratio [OR] 1.17 for 2nd Q, 1.19 for 3rd Q, and 1.42 for 4th Q, P < 0.05) or HOMA-IR (OR 1.18 for 2nd Q and 1.45 for 4th Q, P < 0.05) showed significantly increased ORs of colorectal adenoma compared with the lowest quartiles.


These findings showed that increased serum insulin levels and insulin resistance were significantly associated with the presence of colorectal adenoma.


Colorectal adenoma; Insulin; Insulin resistance

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