Major Bummer: High Blood Sugar Heightens Cancer Risk in Non-Diabetics

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In the March 2007 issue of Diabetes Care, Swedish researchers examined the fasting plasma glucose levels and post-load (after being given glucose) sugar levels of 33,293 women and 31,304 men.

Of those people, 2,478 had developed cancer by the end of the thirteen-year study period. After adjusting for age, year of enrollment, BMI, and smoking status, the researchers found that women with the highest blood sugar levels had a 26 percent greater risk of cancer than women with the lowest levels of blood sugar. For men, most unfairly, the risk was statistically unchanged at higher blood sugar levels.

Previous studies have found that some cancers are more likely in type 2 diabetics, but this study suggests that something could be triggering cancer much earlier, as sugar levels begin to rise, even in women of normal weight. These findings make it all the more important to take steps now if you have high blood levels of glucose that don’t yet reach the cut-off for diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

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