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High Insulin Levels Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Researchers associate clinical signs of diabetes with a doubled risk of pancreatic cancer in men

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Men with higher insulin concentrations and insulin resistance may have a twofold increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., and colleagues studied a cohort of 400 randomly sampled control participants and 169 incident pancreatic cancer cases from the 1985-1988 Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study of 29,133 male Finnish smokers.

After adjusting for age, years smoked and body mass index, the researchers found that higher concentrations of glucose, insulin and insulin resistance showed positive dose-response associations with pancreatic cancer. They determined that men with biochemically defined diabetes mellitus and an insulin concentration in the highest quartile had a 2.13 increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

"Lifestyle changes to decrease glucose and insulin concentrations through weight reduction, increasing physical activity and diet, such as decreasing saturated fat intake, and identification of other modifiable factors that may contribute to higher glucose and insulin concentrations could possibly impact pancreatic cancer development, as well as other cancer and chronic disease," the authors conclude.

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