Prediabetes Associated With Increased Cancer Risk

Professor Yuli Huang The First People's Hospital of Shunde, Daliang Town, China, and Interview with:
Professor Yuli Huang
The First People’s Hospital of Shunde, Daliang Town, China, and colleagues

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Professor Huang: In this meta-analysis of 16 prospective cohort studies comprising more than 890,000 individuals, we found that the presence of prediabetes at baseline associated with a 15% increased risk of cancer overall. The results were consistent across cancer endpoint, age, duration of follow-up and ethnicity. There was no significant difference for the risk of cancer with different definitions of prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose [IFG] and/or impaired glucose tolerance [IGT]).

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Professor Huang: Although the difference of risk of cancer was not significant between  impaired glucose tolerance defined as 5.6-6.9 mmol/l or 6.1-6.9mmol/l. I think it is very interesting that the risks of cancer were increased even when a lower fasting plasma glucose value of 5.6–6.9 mmol/l was used, according to the current American Diabetes Association definition of IFG. These findings support the lower threshold definition  impaired glucose tolerance proposed by the ADA, and highlight the clinical value of the early management of hyperglycemia to prevent cancer.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Professor Huang: First, as the risk of cancer increased in people with prediabetes, clinicians should be aware that it is important to screening for prediabetes with a view to cancer prevention. Second, lifestyle intervention (weight control, stop smoking and healthy diet etc.) should be suggested earlier and recommended as the mainstay of treatment for prediabetes in the general population.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Professor Huang: First, future researches are needed to explore the underlying mechanisms associated with prediabetes and cancer. Second, Future prospective cohort studies that include testing of HbA1c may provide more information on the association between prediabetes and cancer. Third,long-term, large-scale studies are urgently needed to explore the effects of interventions (including lifestyle intervention and drug treatment) on the risk of cancer in people with prediabetes.


Prediabetes and the risk of cancer: a meta-analysis
Yi Huang & Xiaoyan Cai & Miaozhen Qiu & Peisong Chen &
Hongfeng Tang & Yunzhao Hu & Yuli Huang
DOI 10.1007/s00125-014-3361-2
Received: 16 May 2014 /Accepted: 31 July 2014
# Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014