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Your Environment. Your Health.

Risk of Bladder Cancer Higher in Diabetics

Margaret R. Karagas, Ph.D.
Dartmouth Medical School
NIEHS Grant P42ES007373

Superfund Research Program grantees at Dartmouth Medical School report that a history of diabetes and taking oral medications for diabetes significantly increase a person's risk for developing bladder cancer. These findings are based on a case-control study in New Hampshire including approximately 600 people.

Recent research has demonstrated a link between diabetes and bladder cancer; however these studies did not consider type or duration of diabetic therapy. The current study found that diabetics were more than twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as matched control. The association was even stronger in diabetics with a history of the disease of more than 16 years. Their risk was more 3.5 times higher. Diabetics with a history of taking oral hypoglycemic medications were at more than three times greater risk for bladder cancer.

The researchers point out that their study was limited by their inability to differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. They conclude that more research is needed to determine the weighted effects of duration of diabetes and medication type on the risk of bladder cancer.

Citation: MacKenzie T, Zens MS, Ferrara A, Schned A, Karagas MR. Diabetes and risk of bladder cancer: evidence from a case-control study in New England. Cancer. 2011 Apr 1;117(7):1552-6.

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