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J Epidemiol. 2008;18(5):197-203. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Self-reported diabetes mellitus and risk of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in Takayama: a population-based prospective cohort study in Japan.

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Department of Prevention for Lifestyle-related Diseases, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan.



Diabetes mellitus has been reported to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and higher risk of CVD among women than that among men has been observed in many studies. Further, the association of diabetes with increasing risk of cancer has also been reported. Well-designed studies conducted among men and women in the general Japanese population remain scarce.


Our cohort consisted of 13355 men and 15724 women residing in Takayama, Japan, in 1992. At the baseline, the subjects reported diabetes in a questionnaire. Any deaths occurring in the cohort until 1999 were noted by using data from the Office of the National Vital Statistics. The risk of mortality was separately assessed for men and women by using a Cox proportional hazard model after adjusting for age; smoking status; body mass index (BMI); physical activity; years of education; history of hypertension; and intake of total energy, vegetables, fat, and alcohol.


Diabetes significantly increased the risk of mortality from all causes [hazard ratio (HR): 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.64] and from coronary heart disease (CHD) (HR: 2.96, 95% CI: 1.59-5.50) among men, and that from all causes (HR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.34-2.26) and cancer (HR: 1.88, 95% CI: 1.16-3.05) among women. Diabetes was not significantly associated with mortality from CHD among women.


The findings suggest that diabetes increases the risk of mortality from CVD among men and that from cancer among women. The absence of increased risk of mortality from CHD among women may suggest a particular pattern in the Japanese population.

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