Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of bmcphBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Public Health
BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 567.
Published online 2012 July 28. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-567
PMCID: PMC3487805

Increased risk of cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A retrospective cohort study in China



Previous studies indicated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) might be associated with the risk of cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between T2DM and the risk of developing common cancers in a Chinese population.


A population-based retrospective cohort study was carried out in the Nan-Hu district of Jiaxing city, Zhejiang province, China. The incidence of cancer cases among type 2 diabetic patients were identified through record-linkage of the Diabetic Surveillance and Registry Database with the Cancer Database from January 2002 to June 2008. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated for the risk of cancer among the patients with type 2 diabetes.


The overall incidence of cancer was 1083.6 per 105 subjects in male T2DM patients and 870.2 per 105 in females. Increased risk of developing cancer was found in both male and female T2DM patients with an SIR of 1.331 (95% CI = 1.143-1.518) and 1.737 (1.478-1.997), respectively. As for cancer subtypes, both male and female T2DM patients had a significantly increased risk of pancreatic cancer with the SIRs of 2.973 (1.73-4.21) and 2.687 (1.445-3.928), respectively. Elevated risk of liver and kidney cancers was only found in male T2DM patients with SIRs of 1.538 (1.005-2.072) and 4.091 (1.418-6.764), respectively. Increased risks of developing breast cancer [2.209 (1.487-2.93)] and leukemia SIR: [4.167 (1.584- 6.749) ] were found in female patients.


These findings indicated that patients with T2DM have an increased risk of developing cancer. Additional cancer screening should be employed in the management of patients with T2DM.

Articles from BMC Public Health are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central