High Glucose and Colorectal Cancer
Chronically elevated blood glucose levels may be linked with an increased risk of colorectal cancer in older women, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Previous research has hinted at an association between colorectal cancer and conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome (a cluster of factors that raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes), and obesity, but it has not been known whether this link was due to high blood levels of insulin or high blood levels of glucose. To determine which of these factors might be the culprit, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine looked at 12 years’ worth of data collected from nearly 5,000 postmenopausal women in the US Women’s Health Initiative Study.
Over the course of the study period, 81 of the women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The researchers found that women who’d had raised glucose levels at the start of the study were more likely to develop the cancer, and those who’d had among the highest third of glucose levels were almost twice as likely to develop colorectal cancer as those whose levels were among the lowest third. Insulin levels were not associated with colorectal cancer risk.
The next step for the researchers is to figure out how chronically raised blood glucose levels contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. As noted by lead study author Geoffrey C. Kabat, PhD, MS, “It’s possible that elevated glucose levels are linked to increased blood levels of growth factors and inflammatory factors that spur the growth of intestinal polyps, some of which later develop into cancer.”
To learn more, read the piece “High Glucose Levels Raise Colon Cancer Risk in Women” or see the study’s abstract in the British Journal of Cancer. And for more information on preventing colorectal cancer see this article by certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian Judy Giusti.
Free Nova Max Meter
In other news, Nova Care Diabetes is offering a free Nova Care Link blood glucose meter to users of the MiniMed Paradigm Pump. The Nova Max Link is a no-code meter that requires a 0.3-microliter blood sample. It uses a 33-gauge lancet (the thinnest available) and is designed to automatically, wirelessly communicate blood glucose results to the MiniMed Paradigm. To take advantage of this offer, call Nova Care customer service at (800) 681-7390 and mention the promotional code “FREELINKPR.” For more information, see the Nova Care Diabetes Web site.
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Diane Fennell: Diane Fennell has been an editor at Diabetes Self-Management magazine since 2003. She is currently the Editorial Director. (Diane Fennell is not a medical professional.)
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