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Adherence to Diabetes Meds May Cut Mortality in Colorectal Cancer

Patients with colorectal cancer and diabetes have better survival with adherence to diabetes meds

TUESDAY, June 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with colorectal cancer and diabetes, adherence to diabetes medication is associated with better survival, according to a study published online June 1 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Sunho Choe, M.D., from Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues used data from the National Health Information Database for those registered for national health insurance in Korea from 2002 to 2016 to compare the risk for death among colorectal cancer patients with diabetes. The risk for death was compared based on levels of adherence to oral antidiabetics using low-adherence patients as a reference.

Overall, 33,841 diabetes patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer were included, with an average of 4.7 years of follow-up. The researchers found that the risk for death was reduced for patients with good adherence versus those with poor adherence (proportion of days covered ≥80 percent versus <80 percent: hazard ratio, 0.82). When stratified by colorectal cancer subsites, in every subsite, having a higher adherence level showed a significantly protective effect on death.

"Maintaining good medication adherence was related to favorable prognosis of patients with colorectal cancer," the authors write.

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